Monday evening, the Senate and state House of Representatives approved and sent to the governor a $38 billion operating budget to run state government for the next two years, beginning July 1.
Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane Valley, voted against the spending plan, noting that it still relies on tax increases and provides state funding for abortions. Shea released this statement following the House vote:
"I'm very pleased we successfully stopped massive tax increases to fund this budget, including: a proposed capital gains tax, business and occupation tax increases, a carbon (cap and trade) tax, and a bottled water tax. Those Democrat-proposed tax increases are dead, and that's a victory for taxpayers and for our state. We also fought successfully for a tuition cut and teacher pay increases.
"That said, I remain disappointed that the final operating budget agreement still relies on millions of dollars in tax increases and falls short of reforms to make state government more efficient. It increases spending by 12 percent, which is an unsustainable level. Just because the state is taking in an additional three-point-four billion dollars doesn't mean we need to spend it all.
"I'm especially concerned about the 'Click through Nexus' Internet tax against such things as Tupperware, lipstick and some essential oils -- which is really a tax against stay-at-home moms. A court challenge in Illinois on this issue clearly shows it's unconstitutional for the states to reach beyond their borders to tax manufacturers who are producing and selling products outside of the state. Washington state will be standing on shaky ground by enacting and relying on this tax revenue.
"In addition, this proposal relies on tax increases on medicine, which sets a bad precedent.
"I'm also very concerned this budget continues to fund Planned Parenthood, which provides abortions. We should not be using taxpayer money to fund abortions in Washington state."
Senate Bill 6052, making 2015-17 fiscal year operating appropriations, passed the Senate, 38-10, and the House, 90-8.
Gov. Inslee signed the operations budget shortly before midnight Tuesday.