Rep. Skyler Rude’s statement on the passage of the House Democrats’ 2021-23 operating budget proposal and the transfer of funds from the rainy-day fund

Rep. Skyler Rude, R-Walla Walla, released the following statement on the maneuver to transfer funds from the budget stabilization account through the approval of the House Democrats' 2021-23 operating budget proposal.

“Shielding rainy-day funds from the constitutional supermajority is deeply troubling. While legal, this move clearly violates the spirit of law as approved by the voters.

“State revenue has increased over 13% since the last biennium. Current law directs budget writers to adjust future revenue assumptions by 4.5% based on historical revenue collections.  Since incorporating this 4.5% adjustment, actual revenues have exceeded that forecast by $1 billion to $7 billion each biennium.

“Using the 4.5% statutory assumption, the ending fund balance would be $1.5 billion, plus rainy-day funds of $1.8 billion, leaving a balance of $3.3 billion after funding all of the adopted spending in the budget.

“While I commend setting aside revenue, creating an artificially low ending fund balance while adopting a new capital gains tax frames a disingenuous conversation about the need for new revenue. The argument for new taxes doesn't pencil out, especially this year.

“The Legislature should use one-time excess revenues for one-time expenses, such as buying down COVID-related unemployment insurance increases in full, buying down underfunded pension liabilities, funding public works board revolving loan programs and other one-time spending.”

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov