Lake Stevens Journal - Your hometown newspaper since 1960

 

By Pam Stevens
Managing Editor 

Legislators should have spent more time on budget, less time on bills

 

March 20, 2012



The official legislative session is over but because time ran out, once again, legislators were “forced” into special session.

According to a KIRO 7 news story, this costs taxpayers an average of $10,000 a day.

How frustrating is that?

In years past, even before the budget crises, I always thought it amazing that legislators could make their way down to Olympia each and every year and introduce so many new bills. Each year I would think, maybe they should clean up the bills we already have, get outdated ones off the books and stop introducing new bills for this year, (This is my OCD talking!)

I just can’t imagine why we must continually create dozens of new bills each and every year.

While I understand the necessity to create and amend bills, it seems to me that the top priority in this legislative session should have been the state budget. Why did it come down to a special session?

I realize that legislators on both sides of the political fence have their own agenda as to what should happen with the budget. Some want to raise taxes, others want to cut, cut, cut but let’s face it, the majority of Washington residents are already being nickeled and dimed to death with the rising cost of gas, which in turn makes almost all other necessities rise in cost as well.

Washingtonians can’t afford to be taxed any more than they already are.

So, the answer is cut spending, which many lawmakers don’t want to do.

The reality is that a little needs to be cut from everywhere!

Let’s not threaten cutting education because we know that this will get the taxpayers riled up and hopefully they will agree to educational tax hikes.

Let’s start by cutting costs in government salaries, pensions and such.

If I saw lawmakers cutting their own salaries and pensions first, I would be more likely to think they are really taking this budget thing more seriously and not just putting Band-Aids on the problem. Hoping that the economy will turn around soon so that they don’t have to make hard decisions—decisions that should have been made years ago, before we were in a budget crises.

I’ll be watching, as I am sure most of you will be, what the legislature accomplishes in this special session and then I will make my decisions on the ballot. I hope you all will do the same.

 

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