Brandon Vick responds to Legislature’s failure to adjourn third special session

During triple overtime in the Legislature this week, lawmakers successfully passed a two-year operating budget and capital budget. Very early Wednesday, lawmakers went home without adjourning sine die and with more bills still left to cast a vote on. Rep. Brandon Vick, R-Felida, released the following statement:

“My hope today was to be able to share with you that, through six months of hard work and negotiations, the 147-member state Legislature passed a bipartisan operating budget that boasts numerous accomplishments. It makes historic investments to the tune of $1.3 billion in K-12 education, including class size reductions and full-day kindergarten expansion, and funds teacher cost-of-living adjustments. It slashes college tuition at our four- and two-year institutions, addresses court mandates regarding necessary improvements to our mental health system, and makes significant investments in long-term care and human services. Indeed, all of these things were accomplished, and the governor signed the budget into law last night. What's perhaps equally as important is all of these investments were made without broad-based tax increases, including the defeat of a capital gains tax and a carbon tax. We also passed a two-year capital budget, which funds some great projects in the 18th District.

“In addition to these great accomplishments, I should have been able to share with you the Legislature adjourned in the early morning July 1. Unfortunately, that is not the case. While it has been tremendously disappointing the Legislature was unable to adjourn at the end of the regular session April 26, I have been proud of the leadership teams in both chambers for their determination and hard work to reach budget agreements that respect taxpayers and fund critical programs. Each side gave a little and true compromise was struck. At 4 a.m. this morning, the minority party in the Senate blew a hole through that agreement, launching the Legislature deeper into its third special session.

“This is not about the “R” or “D” next to someone's name — the remaining three caucuses kept their word. My hope is clearer heads will soon prevail and we can quickly adjourn.

“Besides the passage of the operating budget, perhaps another silver lining to be had is the transportation tax package has stalled. Even with my 'no' vote, the package passed in the House 54-44 and now returns to the Senate. There's still time to contact the governor and tell him a 12-cent gas tax hike is unacceptable, especially as communities outside of King County continue to recover from the recession.

“With the livelihoods of 7 million Washingtonians on the line, now is not the time for political games. The Legislature must wrap up its work and do right by the people of this great state.

“As leadership teams in the House and Senate work toward a, hopefully, final agreement, I encourage you to contact me at Brandon.Vick@leg.wa.gov with your questions, concerns and ideas. It's an honor serving the people of the 18th District.”

The 2015-17 operating budget passed the House 90-8 and the Senate 38-10, and the capital budget passed the House 96-2 and the Senate 44-1. Both have been signed by the governor. The third special session of 2015 must adjourn by July 28.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov