The top Republican on the budget-writing committee in the House, Rep. Gary Alexander of Olympia, said Tuesday he believes Gov. Chris Gregoire‘s proposed budget will be “dead on arrival” once session starts in January.
“While I can see using a few of her budget reductions, I just can’t see the incoming legislature or the new governor using her overall budget or her tax increases as a starting point,” Alexander said in a statement.
Gregoire called for the renewal of two expiring taxes to pay for education funding, as well as the implementation of a new wholesale gas tax that would fund school transportation.
Alexander said the state doesn’t need to raise taxes to pay for education. “Her budget ties student transportation funding to one of the most volatile funding sources — a tax on the wholesale price of gas,” Alexander said.
Sen. Andy Hill, R-Redmond, has been nominated to chair the Senate budget-writing committee by the GOP-led coalition. He said Gregoire’s budget will be a “useful reference” as the Senate prepares its own budget.
“We will be working under a number of constraints. One is the new state law that requires the budget to balance across four years of projections. This will have the effect of creating a responsible budget that looks to long-term stability. Also, given Gov.-elect Inslee’s promise to veto any new taxes, we are moving forward under the assumption that additional taxes are not an option,” Hill said.