Rep. Joel Kretz appointed acting House Republican leader, continues fight for no-new-taxes budget

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Rep. Joel Kretz appointed acting House Republican leader, continues fight for no-new-taxes budget


Deputy House Republican Leader Rep. Joel Kretz was chosen last week to step in as acting House Republican leader due to eight-year leader, Rep. Richard DeBolt, stepping down due to health concerns. The legislative session is scheduled to adjourn April 28, after which the House Republican Caucus will schedule a meeting to officially fill the House Republican leader position.   “I'm honored to be trusted to serve the state and the Seventh District in such an important role. Most importantly, I wish Richard a speedy recovery and hope he knows that I will continue the good work he has done to protect taxpayers and promote job growth in Washington. I appreciate the entire leadership team and the House Republican Caucus for stepping up and working together to end this session strong,” said Kretz, R-Wauconda. “We are just a few days out from the end of the legislative session and my goal is to finish what our recent leader started – pass a responsible budget without new or increased taxes within the allotted 105 days.”   The House Democrats and governor put forward original budget plans that rely on roughly $1.2 billion in new and increased taxes. The bipartisan Senate Majority Coalition Caucus passed a no-new-taxes budget that spends within expected tax collections, which are projected to grow by $2 billion over the next two-year budget cycle.   “House Republicans and the bipartisan Senate coalition have shown that we can balance the state operating budget within the natural growth of tax collections. It's time for the governor and House Democrats to back off their tax-more, spend-more budgets and follow suit,” Kretz said.   In a last minute move, House Democrats today passed House Bill 2038, a $900 million tax package to attempt to balance their budget proposal. The tax package was originally nearly $1.3 billion, but was scaled back after public testimony derailed parts of the tax plan.   “We are at the table and working hard to find common-ground solutions that put taxpayers and children first in the budget,” Kretz said. “Passing new and higher taxes today is the wrong direction for Washington. It breaks faith with those paying government's bills and will put more people out of work at a time when we have hundreds of thousands of fellow citizens underemployed or unemployed.”   Kretz added that if the governor had followed through on his campaign promises to veto any budget that included tax increases, the Legislature would not be in a deadlock over the state spending plan.   “The governor said time and time again as he asked for peoples' votes last November that he would not raise taxes and he would not sign a budget that included tax increases. Now, he needs to stand by his words and bring his fellow Democrats to the table to negotiate in good faith on a no-new-taxes budget,” Kretz said. “I hope our new governor steps in and keeps his promise to control spending and taxes, and to focus on private-sector job growth that will benefit everyone in the state.”   A job, Kretz added, is the best social program for lifting people out of poverty.   The 2013 regular legislative session is scheduled to adjourn April 28 at midnight.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov