Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-Sunnyside) responded to last Thursday's news conference highlighting her supplemental budget priorities by vowing to hold Gov. Gregoire to her word. Newhouse, however, said he was pleased to hear the governor compare the state budget to a family budget - something Republicans have done for years.
"I agree that much like the families we represent, state spending needs to be fiscally responsible. The state must be prepared for any economic downturn," said Newhouse, a member of the House Capital Budget Committee. "The best way to survive economic turmoil is to return to having a healthy rainy day fund.
"I'm hopeful we'll see a much better budget proposal come from the governor than the risky one she and the majority party ended up passing last session. I don't believe last year's budget and the millions of dollars in tax increases were good for Washington's business climate."
Newhouse referred to the 2005-07 operating budget that included the largest increase in state spending in 14 years.
"We've been very lucky. We dodged a bullet when Washington's economy made strong improvements. The state can't take these improvements for granted. We need to put more money into the state's rainy day account so we are prepared for any possible downturn," said Newhouse. "The governor and Legislature have to be serious about handling taxpayers' money more sensibly, just as they would their own personal budget."
Newhouse commended the governor for saying she would include putting money back into state pensions in her supplemental budget proposal.
"The governor will be coming out with a plan to deal with these important issues when she unveils her budget proposal December 20th," said Newhouse. "I'm anxious to see if she will fully fund the state pension fund and restore the rainy day fund to an adequate level - these are critical issues and I intend to hold her feet to the fire on them."