Budget passes, Rep. Drew MacEwen votes ‘yes’

Today, the long-awaited operating budget was voted out of the House 81 to 11. Rep. Drew MacEwen voted to support the budget alongside the majority of House Republicans. A ‘yes’ vote is a rarity for state Republicans who have had no influence in shaping the budget during recent years.

“After the frustration of negotiating over two special sessions I was pleased to be able to vote ‘yes’ on the outcome,” said MacEwen, R-Union. “This budget isn’t perfect, but it is a real compromise. The result may not be a total win for everyone but it is a victory for the roughly twenty-five thousand people in our state workforce who have been worried about the status of their job.”

MacEwen points out five main elements that were the foundation for his support. The operating budget:

  • Dedicates $1.03 billion in enhancements for K-12 education, including funding for class-size reduction and all-day kindergarten;
  • Supports higher education with increased student financial aid and scholarships, and does not increase tuition for the first time in years;
  • Does not include increased Business and Occupation taxes on Washington businesses as seen in previous proposals;
  • Does not make cuts to services for the most vulnerable; and
  • Protects future generations by preserving the rainy day fund.

“This budget addresses the priorities of the people back home who have been depending on us to fund education and government the right way – by prioritizing spending and without raising their taxes,” said MacEwen. “And, as the assistant ranking Republican on the Capital Budget Committee, I’m pleased that we can now move forward with many critical infrastructure and construction projects.”

With the passage of the operating budget state government has avoided a “shutdown” of services. However, it is unknown if passage of the budget will prompt sine die. A special session can only last up to 30 days and the second special session of 2013 must end July 11.