OLYMPIA — As anticipation builds for the release of a budget by state House Democrats, Republican lawmakers have a new message: Show us the money.
House Minority Leader Rep. Dan Kristiansen, R-Snohomish, said Tuesday he wants Democrats to produce revenue bills alongside their spending plan.
“If you’re going to put a budget out, you better have the … budget bills that are going to fund that budget along with it,” Kristiansen said at a news conference. “So that we’re not just looking at a spending plan without the resources to implement the spending plan.”
Kristiansen’s comments echoed a statement recently released by GOP budget writer Sen. Andy Hill, R-Redmond.
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“The bottom line is that a budget is not complete just because the spending plan is passed,” wrote Hill. “To truly be a budget, and to be able to commence negotiations, the bills necessary to make that budget work must also be passed.”
Democratic House lawmakers could unveil their budget as early as next week, after which the Republican-controlled Senate will release theirs.
Other highlights from Republicans’ news conference Tuesday:
– Senate Majority Leader Mark Schoesler defended the cost of the proposal passed by the Senate to lower college tuition expenses, which is estimated to cost up to $250 million. “I think it’s one of the most important adds that we can do for the working families in the state,” said Schoesler, R-Ritzville. Democrats Monday suggested it may not get far in the House.
– On whether the state should have a 75 mph speed limit for some highways: “I don’t have a problem with it,” said Kristiansen, as long as it is in areas where it’s deemed safe.