A key House Republican was muted today in his criticism of House Democrats’ budget-cutting proposal, but made it clear he prefers Gov. Chris Gregoire‘s plan to theirs.
Yes, that’s the Democratic governor, but GOP lawmakers have been embracing her austere budgets, and Rep. Gary Alexander credited her for balancing the budget in the current fiscal year and eliminating programs to prepare for the next two-year budget.
Today’s House bill doesn’t completely eliminate the current shortfall, and it ends fewer programs than the governor would.
“We can’t just continue to kick the hard decisions down the road,” said Alexander, ranking Republican on the budget committee.
Here’s his news release:
Alexander says early-action budget proposal needs substantial work
Published Tuesday, January 18 2011
Budget writers in the House of Representatives today unveiled the next step in closing the budget shortfall for the remainder of the 2011 fiscal year, which ends June 30.
However, according to the budget leader for House Republicans, majority party budget writers have yet to embrace the changes needed to ensure a sustainable and balanced budget moving forward.
Rep. Gary Alexander, R-Olympia, and ranking Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee, issued the following statement:
“The idea behind early-action budget proposals is to help close the books on 2011 and position ourselves for a sustainable operating budget for the next two years; this does neither.
“The governor, in both her supplemental budget proposal and her 2011-13 operating budget proposal, showed the blueprint for how we get to a balanced, sustainable budget. That blueprint includes the elimination of programs that were created or increased during the previous years of unrestrained spending. If we know we’re going to have to make those decisions and eliminate those programs for the next operating budget, why not capture those savings now? We can’t just continue to kick the hard decisions down the road.
“I commend the majority party for the efforts they’ve made to this point. I know these are difficult times filled with difficult choices. But there is still substantial work that needs to be done in order for this effort to gain our support or to be considered ‘bipartisan’ in any way.”