Sen Jim Hargrove, D-Hoquiam, ranking member on the Senate Ways & Means Committee, released the following statement on Friday's passage of the Senate 2013-15 biennial operating budget:
"This has been an inclusive and open process. We have compromised on many things.
“We supported middle class workers by validating collective bargaining agreements. We fully funded immigrant programs. We made additions in food assistance. We have fully funded the Affordable Care Act. We have committed $1 billion to fund the McCleary decision. We put money into mental health treatment. We have accomplished a lot through good faith negotiations and I would like to thank Sen. Hill for that.
“This is not the budget I would have written myself. But we had to come together to move this plan out of the Senate to avoid the kind of stalemate that has paralyzed Washington D.C.
“Today the amendments that we have heard have made it clear that there are holes in this budget. The impassioned speeches have made that clear. We will need to talk to the House and Gov. Inslee about the inclusion of new revenue to fill those holes.
“I would like to thank Sen. Murray and Sen. Nelson for the faith they have shown in me and for having had my back. I could not have done this without their help and the help of all my colleagues.
“Things are getting better in our state and I look forward to working on future budgets in improving times.”
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For more information: Ian Cope, Senate Democratic Caucus, 360-786-7535
For interviews: Sen. Jim Hargrove, 360-786-7646