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Republicans not pleased with agenda of state Democrats

OLYMPIA - Washington State Republican Chairman Diane Tebelius last Friday said that week one of the Democrats' agenda is "not what the people of Washington want," and that top issues like the transportation budget shortfall and education "have taken a backseat to a state income tax, gay marriage and pay raises for state legislators."

"The Democrats are showing their true colors," said Tebelius, "The Democrats have created their own mandate to impose a state income tax, redefine marriage, and increase their own paychecks while ignoring the real priorities of transportation, education, and the state's long-term fiscal health."

Tebelius noted that in Gov. Christine Gregoire's budget there is a $1 billion shortfall in the transportation budget.

"We know the Democrats use faulty math when it comes to deficit spending, but where is the money to fund the key transportation projects that were promised to voters with last year's increase in the gas tax? Gregoire and the Democrats would rather add 3,800 state bureaucrats than meet our transportation needs," Tebelius said.

"People are tired of being stuck in traffic and watching politicians delay and delay decisions on our transportation needs," said Tebelius, "When half of the kids can't pass a math test, then we are not making the right investments in our teachers or in the right curriculum."

"Instead of top priorities, this is what we got during week one of the Democrats in control," said Tebelius, noting that Sen. Rosa Franklin introduced a state income tax, Sen. Ed Murray and Rep. Jamie Pedersen introduced a gay marriage bill, Sen. Majority Leader Lisa Brown and other Democrats lobbied for higher pay from the citizens panel that oversees pay raises for the governor and state legislators. Tebelius said the panel is recommending the largest pay increases in the past 20 years, including a 10 percent raise for the governor.

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