Rep. Melanie Stambaugh votes ‘yes’ on two-year operating budget
On June 29, the Washington State House and Senate passed the bipartisan 2015-17 operating budget. Rep. Melanie Stambaugh, R-Puyallup, voted in favor of the budget and released the following statement:
“I was pleased to cast a 'yes' vote on the 2015-17 operating budget. While it is not a perfect budget, it achieves the important goal of meeting the state's constitutional obligation outlined in McCleary to fund K-12 education. As the assistant ranking member on the House Education Committee, I am delighted the budget makes historic investments in K-12 education by investing $1.3 billion in our schools. The budget also allocates funding to decrease class sizes in grades K-3. While I would eventually like to see funding for class size reductions in every grade, I believe this is a good start. Additionally, I applaud the Legislature for funding teacher COLAs. Our teachers work incredibly hard day in and day out with our young leaders, and they deserve this long-awaited raise.
“As a member of the House Higher Education Committee, and as a former student at the University of Washington who experienced the largest tuition increases in state history, I was also thrilled to vote for a budget that provides the first tuition cut for college students since the 1970s. Students at our regional institutions will be receiving a 20 percent tuition cut, while students at our research institutions [UW/WSU] will be receiving a 15 percent cut. Even students at community and technical colleges will receive a 5 percent cut in their tuition. With so many of our college students being burdened with enormous debt upon graduation, these tuition cuts will provide some much-needed relief. In addition to historic education funding, the operating budget also makes major investments in early learning and the state's mental health system.
“All of these items were funded without the implementation of a capital gains tax or carbon tax, and there were no increases in the state's sales tax or business and occupation tax. I commend the Senate Republicans and House Republican leadership for working hard to produce a budget that serves Washingtonians well and reflects our priorities and principles as a party.”
The budget measure, Senate Bill 6052, passed the House, 90-8, and the Senate, 38-10. It now goes to the governor for his signature.
###Washington State House Republican Communications