Nealey named to top Republican position on House Finance Committee, receives other committee assignments


Dec. 27, 2012

CONTACT: John Sattgast, Senior Information Officer/Broadcast Coordinator – (360) 786-7257
Rep. Terry Nealey – (509) 526-6284 – Walla Walla; (509) 543-3325 – Pasco; (360) 786-7828 – Olympia

Nealey named to top Republican position on House Finance Committee, receives other committee assignments

Rep. Terry Nealey, R-Dayton, has been named ranking Republican on the Finance Committee of the state House of Representatives. He was appointed to the top position by House Republican Leader Rep. Richard DeBolt, R-Chehalis. The committee considers taxes relating to state revenues, such as increases or decreases in taxes, exemptions from taxes, and changes in the administration of taxes.

“This likely will be one of the most important committees of the session. With a budget shortfall projected to exceed one billion dollars, there will be pressure to raise taxes. We need to resist that pressure and make sure the Legislature writes a budget that sets priorities and requires the state to live within its means,” said Nealey.

“Governor-elect Inslee has said he won’t accept tax increases and voters overwhelmingly approved Initiative 1185 to continue to require the Legislature to get a two-thirds majority vote to raise taxes, so I think that message  is pretty clear. Our focus instead should be on fostering a business-friendly climate that creates jobs. That will be the answer to boosting revenue for the state,” he added. “As the ranking member of the Finance Committee, I will be a watchdog on the first line of defense in the Legislature to protect taxpayers against unnecessary increases and ensure tax fairness.”

Nealey will again be serving on the Environment Committee and the Judiciary Committee. The Environment Committee considers issues relating to air quality, aquatic lands, oil spill prevention, recycling and solid waste, hazardous waste, toxics, climate change, renewable energy standards and energy availability, production and conservation.

“I’m very glad to see that energy is among the topics this committee will be considering, especially since the state is lacking a clear direction of how we address energy supply and demand. I strongly feel we need to develop a long-term, sustainable energy policy that includes nuclear, hydro and natural gas, as well as wind and solar supplements, and combine these sources with robust conservation. I also believe we need to revisit the I-937 mandates which force utilities to purchase a percentage of green power, even when it is not needed,” noted Nealey.

The Judiciary Committee considers a wide variety of subjects relating to civil and criminal law. Nealey said he will draw from his experience as a former Columbia County prosecuting attorney and an attorney in private practice for nearly 40 years as he considers legislation in this committee.

Nealey also was named to the Rules Committee, which chooses committee-approved bills to advance to the House floor.

“I’m very pleased with these assignments as they are a very good fit with the issues and concerns of the 16th District. It is an honor to begin my third term of office in the House of Representatives and to serve the citizens of our state,” added Nealey. “We have some major challenges ahead and I’m prepared to meet them head-on!”

Nealey can be reached through his district office in Walla Walla at (509) 526-6284 and in Pasco at (509) 543-3325. During the legislative session, he maintains an office in Olympia. That phone number is (360) 786-7828.

The 2013 legislative session begins Jan. 14 and is scheduled for 105 days.

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