Sheldon lauds passage of sustainable Senate budget

OLYMPIA… Sen. Tim Sheldon, D-Potlatch, voted for the Senate’s updated state-government spending plan.

“For the second time this year the Senate is offering a budget that lives within its means, increases education funding, grows the rest of the budget by less than the rate of inflation, preserves the state’s rainy day fund and provides a package of policy reforms,” said Sheldon, who, as president pro tempore of the Senate, provided over the passage of this legislation.

The budget package to which this vote is related provides for basic education by limiting the growth rate for non-education spending and allowing for $1.5 billion in new funding towards education. Of that additional money, $1 billion – or $1,000 per pupil –is directly applicable to the Supreme Court’s 2012 McCleary decision that found the state is not meeting its constitutional duty to provide for basic education. A budget proposal approved by the House of Representatives provides much less per pupil although it relies on more than $500 million in new taxes.

“We are making a good faith effort to compromise with the House, but there are some things that are non-negotiable,” said Sheldon. “Providing education with the support it needs is one of our core principles. I hope the House will see the wisdom in our approach, and support this budget so we can return home from Olympia.”

The $33.4 billion budget received a 25-23 vote.