House Republican budget lead Rep. Chris Corry says final operating budget improves some on reserves, but majority spending problem remains

On the final day of the 2024 legislative session, state lawmakers from the House and Senate approved their two-year supplemental operating budget. Senate Bill 5950 came out of the House along party lines. Rep. Chris Corry, R-Yakima, the top Republican on the House Appropriations Committee, said during final passage that he was pleased the final spending plan left more in reserves than its predecessor. House Republicans were still concerned by the amount of spending from savings and spending overall.

“There are good things in this bill,” said Corry. “There’s good additional funding for our school’s maintenance costs, there’s additional monies for teacher support services so that we can help our kids as they continue to make up for the losses during the pandemic and move forward into hopefully our state’s bright future.”

But Corry said there are also areas of concern.

“We worry about broad-based tax relief,” said Corry. “While we are providing additional support for some families we believe that additional support via tax relief should be available for all of Washington’s families.”

He also stressed his concerns about the state’s reserves.

“I am happy to see that this budget ends our ending fund balance higher,” said Corry. “But I do worry about the ongoing spending and how long we will be able to continue with it. There was a savings account that was spent in this that is concerning.”

Corry says that on the positive side, the final budget includes no new taxes.

The original House budget that passed last month had over $72 billion in spending, compared to just under $72 billion in the final version passed by the Legislature.

Corry says there has been a dramatic increase in state spending over the past decade, all while Washingtonians face an increasing number of crises including, affordability, housing, education, child care, public safety, and the fentanyl emergency, with little to no progress in sight.

Additional Information

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov