Majority Democrats in the House passed their state supplemental operating budget, which assumes nearly $1 billion in tax increases this year alone. This represents the largest one-year tax increase in the history of the state. The budget would increase taxes by almost $2 billion in the two-year 2011-13 budget.Rep. Kirk Pearson, R-Monroe, opposed the spending plan and had this to say:
“We have been in Olympia for fifty-four days and still the Democrats have not said or done anything to encourage job retention or creation, nor have they accepted the many proposals I and my House Republicans colleagues have offered to create jobs. This budget makes state government the priority at a time when we should be focused on jobs. I am worried about the families, poor, unemployed and small businesses the new and higher taxes will hurt. This budget raises taxes on people who do not have jobs.
“Unfortunately, this budget represents the transformation from government serving the people, to people serving the government. I cannot support a budget that asks taxpayers to make more tough decisions and cutbacks in their budgets, but does not ask the same of government.”
As passed, the Democrats’ budget assumes the following to balance the $2.7 billion spending gap:
$857 million in tax increases; $641 million in additional one-time federal bailout money (which is dependent on federal legislation that has not passed); $236 million in one-time fund transfers from the capital budget and other dedicated accounts; $314 million raid of the state “rainy day” account; $650 million in spending reductions. Total state spending under the plan is more than $30.5 billion, which represents an increase of more than $200 million this year. Revenues are estimated to be $29.3 billion.
The 60-day 2010 legislative session is scheduled to adjourn March 11.