Senate budget leader responds to governor’s tax plan

Responding to the operating budget proposal released by the governor Thursday morning, Sen. Andy Hill, the Senate’s chief budget writer and chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, issued this response:

“The governor’s contribution to the upcoming budget process features a massive tax increase on residents and small businesses. Investing in student achievement and providing essential services should not depend on risky tax schemes that threaten our economy. Educating our children, caring for those in need and supporting our local economy demands thoughtful, bipartisan budget leadership. Tax increases should be the last resort, not the first response.

“The governor proposes an unbalanced budget, ignoring Washington’s strong four-year balanced budget requirement that holds lawmakers accountable. Instead of prioritizing spending and living within our means the governor would rather rewrite the rules in order to increase state spending by more than $5 billion.

“I’m confident in the Legislature’s ability to work together toward a bipartisan solution that puts children first, supports our most vulnerable and protects working families.”