Special session budget trimming a start, but long-term government reforms are long-term solution, says Kretz

In the wake of a current budget shortfall of $1.1 billion and a much larger looming deficit in the 2011-13 budget cycle, the governor brought lawmakers back to Olympia today for a special session to begin the process of restructuring state finances. Deputy House Republican Leader Joel Kretz, R-Wauconda, voted for an early budget action that reduced state spending by $588 million, but warned more must be done to reform and prioritize state government programs and spending.

“House Republicans have long been calling for much-needed early action on the current budget's $1.1 billion shortfall. I'm pleased the governor and majority Democrats took our advice to act on budget alignments that achieve greater long-term savings. But there is still heavy lifting ahead to address the over-promised program expenditures that have lead to a projected $5.7 billion shortfall in the 2011-13 budget.

“We know how to solve this problem and it involves more than nibbling around the edges. It's time to make true reforms – ones that pair our priorities with existing tax collections. Voters overwhelmingly agreed with this common-sense philosophy. In November, they sent lawmakers a clear message that citizens have had to restructure their household budgets to do more with less, and government must do the same.

“House Republicans have offered many solutions that would help put our state on solid fiscal footing for years to come. As we plan for the 2011 session, we must heed the voters' directive to make the difficult choices needed to prioritize government without further burdening taxpayers and job creators. I stand ready to continue working in good faith to solve our budget problems and demonstrate the solid leadership citizens deserve and expect.”

For more information, contact John Handy, Deputy Communications Director, (360) 786-5758

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov