OLYMPIA - Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown and Sen. Ed Murray, D-Seattle, the chair of the budget-writing Senate Ways & Means Committee, issued the following statement regarding today's state revenue forecast:
"Today's forecast is a reminder that too many families and communities across Washington are still struggling through the Great Recession. As a result, the state is taking in less revenue than expected, lowering our forecast for the current two-year budget by $1.4 billion.
"We must remain open to all possible solutions to the challenges we face. And we must recognize that the cuts over the past three years have already led to larger class sizes, reduced health care coverage for working people, and higher college tuition.
“In the short term, we agree with Sen. Joe Zarelli, the ranking Republican member of the Senate Ways & Means Committee, that we should develop a plan before we call for a special session.
“Sen. Murray has invited budget leaders of both parties in the Senate to meet, review the information and start developing options. It’s important to note another revenue forecast is scheduled in two months. And the governor has already asked the Office of Financial Management to gather budget reduction options.
“In the long term, we need to invest in our future – through strong schools, healthy families, good roads and more jobs. We have to be realistic about the options available. There is no single answer to the worst budget crisis in our lifetimes.
“It will take fresh ideas and responsible choices to meet the challenges we face – challenges that existed before this revenue forecast and that will continue to demand our attention for the foreseeable future.”
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For more information: Adam Wilson, 360-786-7328
For interviews: Sen. Ed Murray, 360-786-7628