Rep. Mark Hargrove lauds historic education funding, tuition cuts in 2015-17 operating budget
On June 29, the Washington State House and Senate passed a bipartisan 2015-17 operating budget. Rep. Mark Hargrove, R-Covington, voted in favor of the spending plan and released the following statement:
“Although no operating budget is perfect, I think this is a very good spending plan that serves the people of Washington state well. As a member of the House Education and House Higher Education committees, I am very pleased the budget invests $1.3 billion in K-12 education, reduces K-3 class size, funds teacher COLAs, and provides a tuition reduction for the first time since the 1970s. At a time when more of our college students are graduating with exorbitant debts, that is very welcome news.
“Additionally, the fact there are no major tax increases in this budget is a huge win for the taxpayers of Washington state. At one point in the negotiations, $1.5 billion in tax increases were on the table. The budget we approved last night does not include a new capital gains tax or carbon tax, and does not increase the general sales tax or business and occupation tax. I am proud of the leadership displayed by Senate Republicans and the House Republican leadership team in standing firm against new taxes at a time when we have $3.2 billion in new revenue coming into the state. This budget is stable and predictable, and serves Washingtonians well. I was pleased to cast a ‘yes’ vote.”
The budget measure, Senate Bill 6052, passed the House, 90-8, and the Senate, 38-10. It now goes to the governor for his signature.
###Washington State House Republican Communications