Budget Priorities

House, Inslee offer “death sentence for rural Washington,” Fortunato says

Published on July 20, 2017
Sen. Phil Fortunato, R-Auburn, issued the following statement in response to the news that the House has refused a permanent Hirst fix: House Democrats are being led by Seattle special interests that think that city water magically appears out of pipes in the wall but rural water taken from wells is a threat to the... Read More

Is it time for the rest of the county to escape from Seattle?

Published on July 14, 2017
By now, you should have received my final legislative update for the year.  Unfortunately, Senate rules governing election-year communications required that my final update be mailed prior to the end of our legislative business this year.  You can read the entire newsletter by clicking the picture below. In the newsletter, I discuss my legislation that... Read More

Senator Fortunato meets local graduates of the Basic Law Enforcement Academy

Published on July 13, 2017
Senator Fortunato was privileged to attend the June 28, 2017 Basic Law Enforcement Academy graduation ceremonies of Class 750.  The academy is an essential institution that trains officers to protect us and  themselves, and even to keep safe the people they are duty-bound to arrest. It ensures that every local officer has consistent and high quality training guided... Read More

Brown: Inslee vying for title of most anti-jobs governor in Washington history

Published on July 07, 2017
Sen. Sharon Brown, the state Senate’s leading advocate for jobs and economic development, voiced outrage today at Gov. Jay Inslee’s veto of a tax incentive aimed at spurring economic growth and increasing manufacturing jobs. “Since I came to the Senate, attracting employers to Washington and helping them create jobs has been one of my top... Read More

Rossi: Inslee stabs Washington workers in the back with jobs-bill veto

Published on July 07, 2017
Governor quashes hope for manufacturing sector, breaks budget deal and opens Boeing up to international sanctions with a single stroke of his pen Gov. Jay Inslee today turned his back on Washington manufacturers and Washingtonians looking for work in the struggling manufacturing sector, vetoing a job-promoting, tax-fairness measure that received strong bipartisan support from lawmakers... Read More

Mental Health improvements included in final budget

Published on July 06, 2017
In keeping with our commitment to protect the most vulnerable, this budget will improve the care for those with serious mental illness.  While a number of negotiated reforms were unfortunately killed at the last minute in the House, some key aspects of my legislation to reform our mental health system remain. This budget adds $100... Read More

Reforms for foster care and adoption included in budget deal

Published on July 06, 2017
I worked to ensure that our budget includes help for kids in state care and the foster parents who provide them the stable and loving environment they need.  The budget provides expanded respite care for foster parents so that they can take a break from their 24/7 responsibilities and attend to other needs. The budget... Read More

Budget deal signals defeat for “Big Four” taxes

Published on July 06, 2017
The budget deal took as long as it did because the Senate refused to accept a new income tax on capital gains, a tax on energy, a business tax hike, or a new real estate excise tax.  In the end, the other party controlling the House abandoned their quest for each of these job-killing proposals. In addition... Read More

Bailey supports budget with historic education investments

Published on July 01, 2017
Sen. Barbara Bailey, R-Oak Harbor today voted in support of the 2017-19 operating budget that was approved by 39-10 in the Senate and 70-23 in the House of Representatives. Bailey, who serves as the Majority Coalition Caucus Whip, offered the following statement. “Since the Majority Coalition Caucus began governing in 2013, we have made education... Read More

O’Ban’s foster-care and adoption reforms win support of the Legislature

Published on June 30, 2017
OLYMPIA— Sen. Steve O’Ban’s efforts to support Washington’s vulnerable children by encouraging fostering and adoption received a major boost today when the state Senate linked his proposed reforms to the new state operating budget. The improvements were in a bipartisan bill from O’Ban, R-University Place, that won overwhelming Senate support in April but stalled in... Read More

Rossi scores major victory for small business in new budget

Published on June 30, 2017
45th District lawmaker: ‘I couldn’t get a single vote for the largest tax package in state history, but we won broad bipartisan support for a manufacturing B&O tax cut’ Two months ago Sammamish Republican Sen. Dino Rossi helped to reboot the Legislature’s budget debate by proving that not a single senator, Republican or Democrat, would... Read More

2017 Legislative Newsletter: budget, car-tabs, taxes, property tax exemptions for seniors and more….

Published on May 12, 2017
By now, you should have received your 2017 Legislative Newsletter.   In case you missed it, you can read it by clicking on the photo below. Read More

New capital gains disaster in Connecticut a warning for Washington, Fortunato says

Published on May 11, 2017
Gov. Jay Inslee and his fellow Democrats are pressing the Washington Legislature to adopt a new income tax on capital gains, but before they go any further, they might want to check with their colleagues in the Connecticut General Assembly, says Sen. Phil Fortunato, R-Auburn. A brand-new $1.8 billion budget disaster in that state is... Read More

Fortunato hails Senate move to cut Sound Transit car tab tax

Published on May 02, 2017
Car tab taxes would be cut by 55 percent and Sound Transit board members would be required to stand for direct elections under legislation that passed the Senate Tuesday afternoon.  Senator Phil Fortunato, R-Auburn, is a cosponsor of both bills, SB 5001 and SB 5893 “If Seattle politicians think their constituents are mad about car... Read More

VIDEO: Fortunato fights to cut Sound Transit’s inflated car tab taxes

Published on April 25, 2017
In this video, Senator Fortunato outlines his efforts to hold Sound Transit accountable and get taxpayers relief from their inflated car tab taxes.  Sen. Fortunato also describes how Sound Transit’s car tab tax defenders wanted to use funds dedicated to homeless and foster kids to protect Sound Transit’s outrageous tax collections. Read More

VIDEO: No one is talking about an INCOME TAX–except that they are!

Published on April 25, 2017
In this new legislative video, Senator Phil Fortunato describes his effort to ban income taxes in Washington and who opposed it.  He also describes how opponents of his ban on the income tax claimed “no one was talking about an income tax” even though plenty of them were talking about AND supporting an income tax.   Read More

The Senate transportation budget and the Tri-Cities

Published on April 19, 2017
In this week’s video update, Sen. Brown explains the state transportation budget, discusses this year’s Senate transportation budget proposal and explains how the plan impacts major transportation infrastructure projects in the Tri-Cities. Read More

The Senate operating budget proposal and how it affects the Tri-Cities

Published on April 11, 2017
In this week’s video, Ways and Means Committee Vice Chair Sharon Brown explains the state operating budget and how the current Senate budget proposal would affect education in the state, as well as schools and property owners in the Tri-Cities. Read More

O’Ban budget amendment aids future of UW Tacoma

Published on March 24, 2017
Last night, the Senate Operating budget was amended to include a $400,000 appropriation for the University of Washington Tacoma branch.   The amendment, offered by Sen. Steve O’Ban, R-University Place, ensures the expansion of the UW Tacoma law school by investing in a pre-law program to pave the way for the new graduate program.  “The law... Read More

Getting Smart on Crime

Published on March 22, 2017
Week 11 of the 2017 session is well underway and yesterday brought the Legislature to the two-thirds mark of the 105-day session. Last week a major piece of the budget puzzle came into view with the first revenue forecast of 2017. We learned that the state’s economy is continuing to grow under the pro-growth policies... Read More

Q13: Senate GOP releases state budget

Published on March 22, 2017
POSTED 10:23 AM, MARCH 21, 2017, BY ASSOCIATED PRESS, UPDATED AT 07:20PM, MARCH 21, 2017 OLYMPIA, Wash. — Senate Republicans on Tuesday released a $43 billion two-year budget that puts an additional $1.8 billion toward education, paid for, in part, by a statewide property tax that ultimately would replace local district levies. The budget plan — which spends... Read More

Senate budget reveals big wins for Pierce County schools, taxpayers

Published on March 21, 2017
The Republican-led Senate Majority Coalition Caucus (MCC) released a $43 billion budget proposal that fully funds basic education and reforms the school levy system. The changes would mean a big influx of funding for Pierce County schools and big savings for taxpayers, according to Sen. Steve O’Ban, R-University Place. The proposal creates a statewide flat... Read More

Rossi: Senate budget puts education, protecting the vulnerable first

Published on March 21, 2017
Deputy budget-writer calls Senate proposal proof you can be ‘both fiscally responsible and have a social conscience” Sen. Dino Rossi, a vice chair of the Senate’s budget-writing Ways and Means Committee, said the 2017-19 operating budget proposed today by the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus would prioritize education and protect the most vulnerable without calling for... Read More

Rossi bipartisan proposal to preserve state parks comes before Senate budget panel

Published on March 14, 2017
Bill would create the Evans State Parks Preservation Account, named after former Governor Dan Evans Today the Senate Ways and Means Committee held a public hearing on Sen. Dino Rossi’s bipartisan proposal to help secure the future of Washington’s state parks and establish a reliable source of funding for park preservation, maintenance and improvements. “While... Read More

Senate’s opposition Democrats block effort to seek constitutional prohibition of state, local income tax

Published on March 07, 2017
Tuesday, the state Senate’s Democrat minority prevented the passage of a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban a tax on individual incomes. Senate Joint Resolution 8204 required a two-thirds majority to pass, or 33 votes of the 49-member Senate. All 25 members of the Senate majority supported the measure, joined by two members of the... Read More

VIDEO: Sen. O’Ban challenges opponents of One Washington education funding plan to reveal tax sources for their bill

Published on February 09, 2017
Senator O’Ban spoke from the floor of the Senate to challenge opponents of the One Washington Education Equality Act to come up with a funding source for their own legislation.  He expressed his concern that to fund such proposals they’d need a big new tax–probably an income tax.     Read More

Senate shows how to govern by passing education bill, O’Ban says

Published on February 01, 2017
OLYMPIA—The One Washington Education Equality Act, SB 5607, passed the senate tonight by a vote of 25 to 24. Sen. Steve O’Ban, R-University Place, hailed the vote as a big win for kids and as welcome property tax relief for residents of the 28th Legislative District. SB 5607 was unveiled earlier this week by the... Read More

Senate majority presents landmark plan for K-12 funding — Education Equality Act would make student-centered, teacher-friendly reforms

Published on January 27, 2017
OLYMPIA…Senate Majority Coalition Caucus members today introduced landmark reforms that would return state government to the role of primary provider for Washington’s K-12 schools while finally connecting school funding with the actual cost of educating students. The MCC’s Education Equality Act is the first complete, ready-for-voting solution proposed by lawmakers since the state Supreme Court... Read More

Is it about money or priorities?

Published on January 18, 2017
By now I’m sure you’ve heard about the challenge the state faces in meeting the education-funding demands of the state Supreme Court’s McCleary decision. Providing for basic education (meaning K-12) is the paramount duty of the state, and as the vice chair of the budget-writing committee in the Senate, I will be working with my... Read More

Published on December 12, 2016
Greetings Friends and Neighbors, In this newsletter you will find the eighth edition of my policy letter, Economic Sense. This edition looks into the Governor’s historically expensive proposed collective bargaining agreements and examines whether they are the best use of taxpayer funds. It addresses lost opportunities, and provides context around state employee pay, retention, and... Read More

Exciting progress on basic education funding

Published on June 28, 2016
Big changes in basic education funding We’ve reversed the long-term trend that was reducing the priority of education funding. In the past, most revenue increases went toward general government expenses, now two-thirds of new revenue growth has been allocated to education.  By doing so we have boosted K-12 spending to the highest level in 30... Read More

Funding our mental health system

Published on June 28, 2016
We’ve increased funding for the state mental health system by 23 percent since the 2013-15 biennium. This includes more than $57 million to help reduce single bed certifications, $49.6 million for increased community evaluation and treatment beds and $7.6 million for a 30 bed civil commitment ward at Western State Hospital. The budget also contained... Read More

Tuition cuts for moms, dads, & their grads

Published on June 28, 2016
Tuition cuts in Washington buck a national trend We proved that more taxes were not required to reduce college tuition or improve education funding. Our budget funded a second round of tuition cuts for Washington state colleges and universities. No other state in the nation has seen tuition costs go down, meaning Washington is the leading... Read More

Mount Vernon School District receives K-3 class-size reduction grant

Published on June 13, 2016
The Superintendent of Public Instruction recently announced 21 grant recipients for class-size reduction funds available as a result of legislation supported by Sen. Barbara Bailey, R-Oak Harbor. Mount Vernon School District is slated to receive more than $8 million to expand classroom space and is planning to build two new elementary schools. “I am so pleased... Read More

Braun renews call for transparency as secret negotiations begin on state-worker contracts

Published on May 24, 2016
Closed-door negotiations began last week on state-worker contracts for the 2017-19 biennium, and Sen. John Braun hopes it is the last time the talks will be kept out of public view. “Washington does a better job than most states when it comes to open government,” said Braun, R-Centralia. “However, the exemption of state-employee collective bargaining... Read More

Sen. Braun’s E-newsletter – May 09, 2016

Published on May 09, 2016
Greetings Friends and Neighbors, The Legislature finally adjourned after a 20-day special session to conclude work on the state’s supplemental budget.  As the lead budget negotiator in the Senate this year, I worked to ensure a sustainable and responsible budget that would allow us to live within our means. I believe we accomplished those goals... Read More

Legislative Session 2016: A path forward for Skagit Valley and the state

Published on April 26, 2016
As the saying goes, when your neighbor loses their job, it’s a recession – but when you do, it’s a depression.  I think that describes in part why people outside the Skagit Valley do not feel the same urgency we do to fix the water-access issue that has left so many Skagit property owners with decimated... Read More

Bailey’s work on state pensions highlights fiscal responsibility

Published on April 12, 2016
New report shows $3.4 trillion hole in public pensions nation-wide Sen. Barbara Bailey, R-Oak Harbor, has served on the state’s Select Committee on Pension Policy for over a decade. In that time Bailey has worked to ensure the health of the state’s pension systems. Those efforts have paid dividends, especially in light of a recent... Read More

Warnick supports supplemental budget

Published on March 30, 2016
Late Tuesday the Legislature approved a supplemental budget after negotiations dragged on into a special session. Sen. Judy Warnick, R-Moses Lake, voted in favor of the bipartisan proposal that makes minor adjustments to the state’s two-year operating budget approved last year. “I spent considerable time at the negotiating table to ensure that people in our... Read More

Supplemental budget garners Bailey’s support

Published on March 30, 2016
Late Tuesday evening the Legislature approved a supplemental budget after negotiations dragged on into a special session. Sen. Barbara Bailey, R-Oak Harbor, voted in favor of the bipartisan proposal that makes minor adjustments to the state’s two-year operating budget approved last year. “I am pleased that we have reached a responsible bipartisan budget agreement,” Bailey... Read More

Bipartisan agreement reached on 2016 supplemental budget

Published on March 28, 2016
Budget leaders from the Washington State Senate and House of Representatives today announced they have reached agreement on an update of the state’s current two-year operating budget. Work on a supplement to the 2015-17 budget has been under way since the 2016 regular legislative session gave way to a special session March 10. The updated... Read More

Senate moves ahead with updated supplemental budget proposal  

Published on March 12, 2016
Senate budget leaders Sens. Andy Hill and John Braun released an updated 2016 supplemental budget proposal today, which will receive a public hearing in the Senate Ways and Means Committee at 2 p.m. The new plan comes at the beginning of a special session as lawmakers continue work to find bipartisan agreement on an update... Read More

Sen. Warnick’s E-newsletter – February 24, 2016

Published on February 24, 2016
Update from Olympia – February 24, 2016 Greetings Friends and Neighbors, With just a few weeks left in the 2016 legislative session, our Senate majority continues to build on the results we achieved in 2015 while pushing for increased transparency and accountability in state government. I have been fortunate to have several of my priority... Read More

Bailey stands with taxpayers, votes to put 2/3rds tax-vote amendment on ballot

Published on February 18, 2016
Washington voters have said six times over the past two decades that it should be harder for the state Legislature to raise taxes. Today the state Senate took up a measure, Senate Joint Resolution 8211, which would let the people decide on a constitutional amendment requiring a supermajority to raise taxes. Sen. Barbara Bailey, R-Oak... Read More

Brief filed by the Legislature to the State Supreme Court concerning public charter schools

Published on October 28, 2015
Click on the image above to open the file. Read More

Sen. Braun’s E-newsletter – October 6, 2015

Published on October 06, 2015
Washington’s Paramount Duty A look at education funding in our state Greetings, For the past 30 years, starting in the early 1980s, growth in general government spending outpaced the state’s investments in public education. Billions of dollars were diverted from the state’s paramount duty toward other state programs. As the state’s portion of education funding... Read More

Senate majority makes college more affordable with historic tuition cuts

Published on July 27, 2015
Senate Majority leader Mark Schoesler recaps the news coverage of an historic session: ‘Historic’ tuition cut sets state apart from rest of U.S. Seattle Times, June 13, 2015 Washington’s move isn’t well-known elsewhere in the country, but some say it could spur other states to think about cuts. “I don’t know how widely known this proposal... Read More

Governor signs legislation improving access to the justice system in Skagit County

Published on July 08, 2015
Skagit County has the Legislature’s authorization to add a third judge to its district-court bench, under legislation signed by Gov. Jay Inslee today. Sen. Barbara Bailey sponsored Senate Bill 5174, to allow the increase; the legislation signed is House Bill 1061, an identical measure sponsored by Rep. Dave Hayes, R-Camano Island. “District courts have jurisdiction... Read More

O’Ban advocates for important investments in Pierce County in the capital budget, passed today

Published on July 01, 2015
The Legislature adopted a bipartisan capital-budget proposal late Tuesday evening which provides significant investments in local infrastructure and community projects. Similar to the proposal released during the 2015 regular session, the capital budget builds over 2,100 classrooms, funds 80 parks statewide, including nearly $107 million for the Senator O’Ban’s communities in the 28th District. “The... Read More

13th District legislators applaud no-new-tax bipartisan budget that cuts tuition, boosts teacher pay

Published on June 30, 2015
The Legislature approved a new two-year operating budget Monday evening that makes historic investments in all levels of education, cuts tuition at state-run colleges and universities and provides increases in teacher compensation, without raising taxes. Senate Bill 6052 was approved by a vote of 38-10 in the Senate and 90-8 in the House in time... Read More

Senate passes historic budget that includes no new taxes, cuts tuition and invests in basic education

Published on June 30, 2015
The new two-year operating budget package approved by the Senate Monday evening includes legislation sponsored by Sen. Barbara Bailey to reduce college tuition at state-run institutions by as much as 20 percent. Bailey’s measure also caps future tuition increases according to a percentage of the state’s median wage. “This is a win for working students... Read More

Braun lauds bipartisan budget that cuts tuition, funds education without new taxes

Published on June 30, 2015
Leaders in the state Senate and House have reached a significant bipartisan agreement on the state’s two-year operating budget. Included in the budget is the Senate’s proposal to reduce tuition at state colleges and universities, sponsored by deputy majority leader Sen. John Braun, R-Centralia. Over the next two years the legislation reduces college tuition by... Read More

2015: Best year for students and teachers in decades

Published on June 17, 2015
Sen. Bruce Dammeier, vice chair of the Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee answers the question, “What have lawmakers done for students this year?” Senate education budget facts: Greatest new investment in K-12 of any budget in state history. 47 percent of the budget dedicated to K-12 education — a share not seen since the... Read More

2015: Best year for students and teachers in decades

Published on June 17, 2015
Sen. Bruce Dammeier, vice chair of the Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee answers the question, “What have lawmakers done for students this year?” Senate education budget facts: Greatest new investment in K-12 of any budget in state history. 47 percent of the budget dedicated to K-12 education — a share not seen since the... Read More

As forecast adds $400 million, Padden joins call for tax relief for small business

Published on May 18, 2015
A positive tax-revenue forecast is leading three state senators to call for a tax cut, saying this is the time for relief, not more spending. State Sens. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, Michael Baumgartner, R-Spokane, and Michael Padden, R-Spokane Valley, are calling for a reduction in business and occupations taxes. Their plan would use half of the... Read More

Braun rejects pay increase until budget work is finished

Published on May 15, 2015
Teacher strikes, education funding, and legislator pay. These three issues have grabbed headlines recently as the Washington Citizens’ Commission on Salaries for Elected Officials considered increasing legislator pay by 11 percent while legislators are focused on completing budget negotiations. The independent commission voted Wednesday to enact that pay increase despite protests from Sen. John Braun,... Read More

My letter to the Washington Citizens’ Commission on Salaries for Elected Officials

Published on May 15, 2015
May 6, 2015   To the Washington Citizens’ Commission on Salaries for Elected Officials: As you may be aware, this has been a tough budget year. Both parties in the House and Senate are working to create a balanced budget that prioritizes our state’s spending. Part of that prioritization is investing in our state employees.... Read More

2015: Best year for K-12 education funding in decades

Published on May 11, 2015
Washington’s education union is planning a series of one-day strikes protesting the Legislature’s work on education funding. See here for information on the strike. What have lawmakers done for students this year? Greatest new investment in K-12 of any budget in state history Bipartisan efforts would invest in all-day kindergarten, K-3 class size reduction and... Read More

2015 – A great year for education

Published on May 07, 2015
Washington’s education union is planning a series of one-day strikes protesting the Legislature’s work on education funding. See here for information on the strike. What have lawmakers done for students this year? Greatest new investment in K-12 of any budget in state history Bipartisan efforts would invest in all-day kindergarten, K-3 class size reduction and... Read More

Tuition-cap bill approved by Senate

Published on April 29, 2015
College affordability one step closer for Washington Families The Senate Majority’s College Affordability Program, Senate Bill 5954 passed with bipartisan support but surprising opposition from half of Senate Democrats. The bill, sponsored by Deputy Majority Leader Sen. John Braun, R-Centralia, and chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee, Sen. Barbara Bailey, R-Oak Harbor would reduce... Read More

Senate delivers on major issues facing the state: budget, transportation and tuition cuts

Published on April 28, 2015
Friday marked the end of the Legislature’s regular session. Sen. Barbara Bailey noted the significant legislation passed by the Senate including a no-new-taxes budget, bipartisan transportation package, college-tuition reductions, mental health reform and a capital budget that builds 2,100 classrooms to lower class size from kindergarten through third grade. “We have prioritized our efforts to... Read More

Senate delivers ‘clean sweep’ on budget, transportation and tuition cuts

Published on April 24, 2015
Majority leader: ‘Special session needs to end by May 15’ OLYMPIA… Senate Majority Leader Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, today marked the end of the Legislature’s regular session with a long list of major legislation passed by the Senate including a no-new-taxes budget, bipartisan transportation package, college-tuition cuts, public-safety measures, addressed critical mental health issues and a... Read More

Senate delivers ‘clean sweep’ on budget, transportation and tuition cuts

Published on April 24, 2015
OLYMPIA… Senate Majority Leader Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, today marked the end of the Legislature’s regular session with a long list of major legislation passed by the Senate including a no-new-taxes budget, bipartisan transportation package, college-tuition cuts, public-safety measures, addressed critical mental health issues and a capital budget that builds 2,100 classrooms to lower class size... Read More

Budget countdown continues: Senate budget no reason for teacher’s to strike

Published on April 21, 2015
April 23, 2015 3 days left: Senate budget no reason for teachers to strikeSen. John Braun, R-Centralia notes that the end of the 2015 regular legislative session is fast approaching. Braun continues the countdown, highlighting the need to complete budget negotiations by April 26 and offered this statement: “The Senate’s no new taxes budget puts... Read More

3 days left: Budget countdown continues

Published on April 16, 2015
Today is the 102nd day of the 105-day legislative session. There are only 5 days left for the House Democrats to bring their proposed tax increases to a vote for their budget proposal that won’t balance without $1.5 billion in new taxes. The Senate passed a complete, no-new taxes budget. We have been ready and... Read More

6 days left: Budget countdown continues

Published on April 16, 2015
April 20, 2015  6 days left: Budget countdown continues I am continuing the countdown to the end of the 2015 legislative session, highlighting the need to complete budget negotiations by April 26. Today is the 99th day of the 105-day legislative session. There are only 6 days left for the House Democrats to bring their... Read More

Schoesler: ‘Senate holds the line on last minute projects adding $128 million’

Published on April 15, 2015
OLYMPIA… Senate Majority Leader Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, released this statement as the Legislature passed an important deadline for passage of bills from opposite chambers, and entered the final phase of the 2015 session: “Today is Tax Day for thousands of Washington taxpayers. I think it’s fitting that to mark this day, the Senate continues to hold... Read More

Senate approves capital budget investing in schools, jobs and future

Published on April 15, 2015
The state Senate approved a bipartisan capital-budget proposal today for 2015-17 which builds over 2,100 classrooms, devotes $60 million to local-government infrastructure projects statewide and invests in state parks and trails. The plan would fund the acquisition, construction and maintenance of capital assets across Washington – such as schools and projects to promote economic growth.... Read More

Why I support the College Affordability Program

Published on April 13, 2015
Students say why they support the Senate Majority’s plan to reduce tuition. Read More

Day 94: Budget countdown continues

Published on April 10, 2015
April 15, 2015 Day 94: Budget countdown continues I am beginning the countdown to the end of the 2015 legislative session, highlighting the need to complete budget negotiations by April 26. Today is the 94th day of the 105-day legislative session, the 19th day since House Democrats rolled out a budget proposal that won’t balance... Read More

Senate’s budget a stark contrast to the version released by the House

Published on April 10, 2015
Senate’s budget a stark contrast to the version released by the House Our state is fortunate that the fragile economic recovery has resulted in increased revenue coming to the state. We are projected to have $3 billion more in revenue for this budget cycle than the last. The Senate unveiled a no-new-taxes budget that makes... Read More

Senate and House leaders meet to discuss budget negotiations

Published on April 10, 2015
OLYMPIA…As the 2015 legislative session nears the end of its 105 day limit, Senate Majority Coalition budget negotiators are reaching across the aisle and Rotunda to end on time and on budget. The Senate has passed a complete budget. The House has passed a $39 billion spending plan. This is an important difference between the... Read More

Senate and House leaders meet to discuss budget negotiations

Published on April 10, 2015
OLYMPIA…As the 2015 legislative session nears the end of its 105 day limit, Senate Majority Coalition budget negotiators are reaching across the aisle and Rotunda to end on time and on budget. The Senate has passed a complete budget. The House has passed a $39 billion spending plan. This is an important difference between the... Read More

Senate tuition-cut proposal good for families and GET program

Published on April 10, 2015
After Sen. John Braun introduced legislation to cut tuition at state colleges and universities some questions arose regarding the bill’s effects on Washington State’s Guaranteed Education Tuition program. Opponents of the proposal have erroneously stated the measure would reduce the value of credits already purchased through the state GET program. “I understand the concerns that... Read More

Senate capital budget invests in schools, recreation, job creation

Published on April 08, 2015
The state Senate released a bipartisan capital-budget proposal today for 2015-17 which builds over 2,100 classrooms, fully funds 80 parks and trails, and devotes $60 million to local-government infrastructure projects statewide. The $3.9 billion plan would fund the acquisition, construction and maintenance of capital assets across Washington – such as schools and projects with recreational... Read More

Watch KING 5: Students praise Senate tuition cuts as debt relief

Published on April 08, 2015

Watch KING 5: Students express support for Senate tuition cut

Published on April 08, 2015

Bailey votes for ‘no-new-taxes’ budget

Published on April 07, 2015
After debate all night Thursday and working into early Friday morning, the Senate approved its budget proposal Monday afternoon that invests in education, cuts college tuition and protects essential services. “The people in my district have been very clear that the state should live within its means,” said Bailey after the vote. “With $3 billion... Read More

Warnick supports Senate’s no new tax budget, looks for improvements

Published on April 07, 2015
The Senate Majority Coalition’s budget proposal was approved Monday afternoon after vigorous debate before the weekend where lawmakers worked around the clock. The budget makes education the top priority and delivers tax relief and college affordability to families across Washington without raising taxes. “This budget proposal prioritizes education spending after years of putting money toward... Read More

My Floor Speech on the Senate’s ‘No New Taxes’ Budget

Published on April 06, 2015

Majority Leader: We have the votes to pass a no-new-taxes budget

Published on April 06, 2015
OLYMPIA… Senate Majority Leader Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, released this statement in advance of passage of a 2015-17 operating budget by members of the state Senate: “We have the votes to pass a no-new-taxes budget that fully funds K-12 education and offers college students and their families the first tuition cut in at least a generation. “It’s... Read More

Majority Leader: We have the votes to pass a no-new-taxes budget

Published on April 06, 2015
OLYMPIA… Senate Majority Leader Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, released this statement in advance of passage of a 2015-17 operating budget by members of the state Senate: “We have the votes to pass a no-new-taxes budget that fully funds K-12 education and offers college students and their families the first tuition cut in at least a generation. “It’s... Read More

Senate delivers a ‘no-new-taxes’ budget proposal, cuts college tuition 25 percent

Published on March 31, 2015
OLYMPIA…”This is a bold budget proposal that delivers on the promise to make education the top priority and to live within our means. The Senate budget delivers tax relief for families, fully funds K-12 education and protects the most vulnerable – all without raising taxes. “This budget sends the message to families across Washington that,... Read More

Senate Budget Priorities

Published on March 31, 2015
Senate budget fully funds education, cuts tuition without raising taxes Students, teachers and parents would see significant funding increases for the state’s public schools while in-state tuition would be reduced for the first time since at least the 1970’s without raising taxes under Senator Andy Hill’s budget proposal released Tuesday. “We crafted this budget  to... Read More

Bailey champions ‘no new taxes’ budget as win for working families

Published on March 31, 2015
The Senate Majority Coalition’s no new taxes budget proposal is a win for Washington State. The budget makes education the top priority and delivers tax relief and college affordability to families across Washington without raising taxes. Senate budget leaders released their 2015-17 state operating budget proposal today committed to capture savings and keep the state’s... Read More

Tuition-cap bill approved by Senate

Published on March 11, 2015
College affordability one step closer for Washington Families The Senate Majority’s College Affordability Program, Senate Bill 5954 passed with bipartisan support but surprising opposition from half of Senate Democrats. The bill, sponsored by Deputy Majority Leader Sen. John Braun, R-Centralia, and chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee, Sen. Barbara Bailey, R-Oak Harbor would reduce... Read More

TVW The Impact: ‘Is increasing state employee salaries the right priority?’

Published on February 26, 2015

Washington teacher’s union supports convicted child molesters receiving state funded pensions

Published on February 24, 2015
In Washington, public employees who commit a crime don’t lose their taxpayer guaranteed retirements, and teachers can earn the right to a lifetime retirement after working for as little as five years. In Washington, public employees who commit a crime don’t lose their taxpayer guaranteed retirements, and teachers can earn the right to a lifetime... Read More

The SMART Act: Measuring outputs, not just inputs

Published on February 24, 2015
Much of the public discussion and advocacy surrounding the budget writing process often tends to focus on inputs, or the amount of taxpayer dollars spent on a particular program. The Legislature has an equally important duty to study the outputs, or the actual results of the way they spend taxpayer dollars. Accountability and transparency are... Read More

The SMART Act: Measuring outputs, not just inputs

Published on February 24, 2015
Much of the public discussion and advocacy surrounding the budget writing process often tends to focus on inputs, or the amount of taxpayer dollars spent on a particular program. The Legislature has an equally important duty to study the outputs, or the actual results of the way they spend taxpayer dollars. Accountability and transparency are... Read More

Senate budget leader responds to governor’s tax plan

Published on December 18, 2014
Responding to the operating budget proposal released by the governor Thursday morning, Sen. Andy Hill, the Senate’s chief budget writer and chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, issued this response: “The governor’s contribution to the upcoming budget process features a massive tax increase on residents and small businesses. Investing in student achievement and... Read More

The Governor Vetoes Sections of the Budget

Published on April 11, 2014
Last Friday, the governor vetoed several sections of the budget before signing his name in approval. The most notable consequence of his vetoes is that the budget is now projected to be out of balance. The major vetoes are: Transfer of Life Sciences Discovery Funds to Education Legacy Trust Account – The Legislature had proposed... Read More

Bipartisan Supplemental Budget Proposal

Published on March 03, 2014
Last Wednesday the Senate overwhelmingly approved a supplemental budget proposal that is projected to balance over four years and prioritizes education without raising taxes. Since this is the first time in six years that we have entered session without a budget deficit hanging over our heads, we were able to propose a true supplemental budget.... Read More

Honeyford calls supplemental operating budget ‘good for Washington’

Published on February 27, 2014
Members of the state Senate today passed the 2014 supplemental operating budget proposal, which was supported by Sen. Jim Honeyford. The Sunnyside Republican noted that last year’s balanced, bipartisan budget was the primary reason for broad agreement on the supplemental budget more than two weeks before the end of the 60-day legislative session. “The Majority... Read More

Honeyford bill would spare honeybee industry from sting of B&O tax

Published on January 30, 2014
The Senate Agriculture, Water and Rural Economic Development Committee today considered a bill aimed at putting more buzz into the state’s honeybee industry. Senate Bill 6402, sponsored by Sunnyside Sen. Jim Honeyford, would exempt honeybee products and services from the state’s onerous business and occupation tax by defining them as agricultural products. “Washington has many... Read More

Two weeks down, six to go

Published on January 27, 2014
The Legislature has now completed the first two weeks of the 2014 session and we’re well underway debating bill proposals and negotiating with our colleagues. Since this is a short (60-day) session, the timeframe to accomplish what we need to do is reduced and everything seems to be getting done in a hurry. I wanted... Read More

2014 Session Begins with high hopes, challenges

Published on January 13, 2014
Today began the 60-day legislative session for 2014, and it also marks the first session we’ve seen in a long time that is beginning without a deficit to reconcile. That’s due to the balanced, reform-focused budget proposed and passed by the Majority Coalition Caucus in 2013. Last year we promised to work on creating jobs, improving education and... Read More

Fain looks to get budget done on time

Published on January 10, 2014
Senators Joe Fain and Andy Hill on the Senate floor during debate on the 2013 budget. The two proposed new legislation aimed at getting the budget done on time. After the 2013 Legislature required two special sessions before approving a new budget, Sen. Joe Fain introduced legislation aimed at avoiding future delays and removing potential... Read More

Second special session begins with no budget agreement

Published on June 13, 2013
On Tuesday, the Washington State Legislature adjourned Sine Die (it’s Latin for “without a day” and pronounced “SIGH-nee-DYE”) for the second time this year. Yesterday, we began the second special session of 2013 – our third session of the year – with only one priority: pass a state budget. While I’d like to say that... Read More

Budget negotiations continue as Senate mourns lost colleague

Published on June 08, 2013
The special session has kicked into a higher gear as we approach June 11th, the 30th and final day of the special session under Washington’s constitution. Earlier this week the governor voiced how he likely would call a second special session to begin immediately if Tuesday comes and goes without a budget agreement. Perhaps that... Read More

New House budget proposal presents victories, challenges

Published on June 08, 2013
Earlier this week, the House released a new $33.7 billion spending proposal…a sign that they are finally taking budget negotiations seriously. The proposal released this week represents an improvement over the original House budget but while the lower level of spending is welcome, it’s unconscionable that more than 75 percent of the reductions would come... Read More

No support for higher gas taxes

Published on June 08, 2013
On April 19 the Senate Transportation Committee approved a bare-bones, no-new-taxes transportation budget for 2013-15. Three days later the House Transportation Committee adopted a separate bill that would impose a 10-cent hike in the state portion of the gas tax over three years, and create or increase an array of other transportation-related fees. The no-new-taxes... Read More

15th Dist. Olympia Report for May 2, 2013

Published on May 02, 2013
The deadline for the Washington State Legislature to end its business and go home was Sunday, however since no budget agreement could be reached in time, taxpayers will now be forced to foot the bill for yet another special session (which seems to be an annual tradition in Olympia). I believe it’s terribly shameful that... Read More

Sunnyside solon calls for Legislature to get back to work

Published on April 29, 2013
Upon realizing the 105-day 2013 legislative session would end without the passage of a state budget, 15th District Sen. Jim Honeyford, R-Sunnyside, made this statement: “I believe it’s terribly shameful that the Legislature couldn’t get a budget out after nearly four months, especially since the state is receiving $2 billion more in revenue and the... Read More

Restoring aid for children

Published on April 10, 2013
Due to decreasing state support for State Food Assistance in recent years, Sen. Joe Fain spearheaded an effort to restore funding for the program in the Senate operating budget approved on April 5. “The state constitution demands that we educate every child within our border,” said Fain, who serves as the Senate majority floor leader.... Read More

Status of my bills in the House of Representatives

Published on March 26, 2013
I am pleased to report the Senate passed 11 of my bills and sent them to the House of Representatives for consideration. Currently, 10 of my 11 bills have public hearings scheduled in various House Committees. The most important bill I sponsored this year is Senate Bill 5445 that provides $445m in grants for school... Read More

Revenue forecast shows $2 billion more

Published on March 26, 2013
On Wednesday, March 20, the state Economic and Revenue Forecast Council announced we will have nearly two billion additional dollars for the 2013-15 operating budget. This news has been extremely well-received and has strengthened the resolve of the Majority Coalition Caucus to not raise your taxes. Despite reports to the contrary, we are close to... Read More

Our “10-3-50” plan to reduce tuition and fund higher education

Published on March 26, 2013
Over the last few years, the state has cut more than 30 percent out of the funding provided for our colleges and universities. Because of those funding cuts, tuition rates are at all-time highs. This past week, the Majority Coalition Caucus rolled out our “10-3-50” plan that will increase funding for our higher education institutions... Read More

Senate unanimously sends five more Honeyford bills to the House of Representatives

Published on March 18, 2013
Five bills from 15th District Sen. Jim Honeyford, R-Sunnyside, have been unanimously passed by the Senate in time to meet the March 13 deadline for most bills to be passed out of the body of origin. If signed into law, Honeyford’s bills would help keep energy costs low, itemize state debt-service costs, make employees easier... Read More

Honeyford-sponsored public health, land and water bills pass Senate

Published on March 11, 2013
Over the past several days in the Washington State Senate, Sen. Jim Honeyford, R-Sunnyside, saw three of his bills approved and sent to the House of Representatives. The first to pass on Friday was Senate Bill 5324, which would encourage municipalities to use state Department of Ecology design guidelines when constructing stormwater retention ponds in... Read More

Honeyford named top Republican on Senate ag committee

Published on January 16, 2013
Sen. Jim Honeyford began the 2013 legislative session Monday by accepting the role of ranking Republican on the Senate Agriculture, Water and Rural Economic Development Committee. Under the new Majority Coalition committee structure, some committees are chaired by Democrats, some by Republicans and some are co-chaired. “The Majority Coalition Caucus could have claimed every committee-leadership... Read More

Honeyford to chair capital budget committee under new Senate plan

Published on December 10, 2012
After years of one-party rule in Washington state government, Democrat and Republican senators announced today that they have formed a Majority Coalition Caucus to lead the Senate during the 2013 legislative session. Twenty-five state senators have committed themselves to the new majority group, including Sen. Jim Honeyford, R-Sunnyside, who will also chair the state’s capital... Read More

Revenue forecast shows no growth

Published on September 20, 2012
The state Economic and Revenue Forecast Council adopted the third revenue forecast of 2012 yesterday. It is essentially unchanged from the June quarterly forecast. The anticipated revenue collection for the remainder of the 2011-13 biennium is $30.47 billion, up $29 million (about 8%), and for the 2013-15 biennium the forecast is for $32.65 billion in... Read More

NEWS: Fain helps craft sustainable budget and pass key reforms

Published on April 12, 2012
During an all-night session of negotiating and voting that finally concluded after dawn Wednesday, Washington lawmakers addressed state government’s financial concerns and made significant investments in the future with a series of breakthrough reform measures and by approving supplemental operating and capital budgets. Read More

Fain honored for legislative support of Mountains to Sound Greenway

Published on September 27, 2011
U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert recognized 47th District State Sen. Joe Fain of Auburn with an award Tuesday from the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust to honor his conservation leadership. Fain, along with several of his Senate colleagues, was instrumental in preserving funding for the environmental project during the 2011 legislative session. “These types of conservation efforts protect our natural... Read More

47th District benefits from state’s capital budget

Published on June 01, 2011
Members of the Washington State Legislature approved the state’s 2011-13 biennial capital budget late last Wednesday. Sen. Joe Fain, who represents the 47th Legislative District, which includes parts of Auburn, Renton, Kent, and Covington, said he was pleased to advocate for the projects funded by the legislation. Passage of the capital budget was caught up in negotiations... Read More

Prentice, Fain collaborate on transportation projects for south King County

Published on April 21, 2011
No matter the party they come from, South King County legislators are working across party and district lines to address traffic congestion and get Washington back to work. On Thursday, members of the Washington State Senate approved the biennial transportation budget, HB 1175, by a vote of 39-9. 11th District State Sen. Margarita Prentice, D-Renton, and freshman Sen. Joe Fain of Auburn, who serves as the... Read More