Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The second 2012 special session ended Wednesday morning around 7:30 a.m. after almost 24 hours of negotiations and voting. I am happy to be back home in Dayton. We worked together in a bipartisan manner to compromise and pass a budget with several necessary reforms. Though it has been a challenging session, in the end we voted on a budget I felt I could support. The budget we passed is not perfect, but it is more sustainable than others proposed this session.
The three main reasons I voted for the budget are:
- It does not “kick the can down the road” by delaying current payments to schools; the original budget delayed more than $330 million dollars and would have shifted the burden into the next biennium.
- It does not skip a payment owed to pension plans.
- It does not include a tax increase.
One of the reasons for the successful passage of the budget was that Republicans were brought to the table and many of our ideas were included. I appreciate the bipartisan coalition in the Senate opening the door for more collaborative budget negotiations.
The Legislature also passed a capital budget in the final hours of session. The capital budget funds projects that create jobs and helps build infrastructure needed in our communities. Our district was fortunate because several important, local economic development projects were funded. These projects include:
- Walla Walla State Veterans Home – $14.4 million
- Southeast Area Technical Skills Center – $10.35 million
- Alternative Energy training and innovation center – $3.67 million
- Railex warehouse infrastructure – $2.75 million
- Pasco Heritage Industrial Rail Expansion – $1.8 million
- Pasco Rail Hub Development – $1.4 Million
- Columbia County Blue Mountain Station Site – $750,000
In the upcoming months I look forward to connecting with you in the district. If you would like to recommend to family or friends that they sign-up to receive this e-newsletter please have them visit my Web site at houserepublicans.wa.gov/nealey and click on “sign up for my e-mail updates.”