Senator Rodney Tom, D-Bellevue, issued the following statement regarding his vote on a parliamentary procedure to pull the governor's proposed operating budget to the Senate floor:
"Today I stood with a bipartisan group of legislators to support an operating budget and a series of government reforms that will put our state on a strong fiscal footing.
“Since before this legislative session began, the message from my constituents has been loud and clear. Another budget that is unsustainable, relies upon accounting gimmicks and sets our state up for a perennial deficit is simply unacceptable.
“If we ever want to get ahead of our budget crises, our state needs wholesale government reform and a budget that reflects our commitment to sustainable governing.
“This year, I introduced several reform proposals aimed at bending our state’s cost curve, including efforts to shore up our state’s pension system. I also made my support clear regarding proposals to lower our state debt limit and require that our state balance our budgets with long-term sustainability in mind. Each of these proposals represent critical tools in achieving a sustainable budget that will restore the public’s confidence in our state’s fiscal outlook.
“Unfortunately, with one week left in the regular session, it became clear that a true commitment to a sustainable budget and wholesale government reform had failed to emerge in the Legislature.
“My commitment to my constituents and to sound policy will always override my commitment to the party hierarchy. I am proud of the work we have done today on behalf of the citizens of Washington. It is my hope that today’s actions will show the public that the will within the Legislature to budget sustainably does indeed exist.”
For more information, Michael Althauser, 360-786-7326