“As I’ve continually told people who have contacted my office, this year is a supplemental budget year. That means we make small changes to the two-year operating budget because of caseload adjustments or because of unforeseen emergencies like wildfires. However, Democrat budget writers have taken an entirely different approach. They proposed significant increases in spending on new policies. To pay for these new programs they want to increase taxes by almost $400 million over this current two-year budget cycle and the next two-year budget cycle. These tax increases include ones rejected by voters in the past like taxing bottled water, or proposals rejected by the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee which is tasked with finding economic benefit in tax incentives. They also want to raid the state’s rainy day fund for non-emergency spending.
“A couple of thoughts went through my head as I voted no. First of all, the governor signed our current two-year operating budget less than eight months ago! I’d like to think that these significant increases in policy spending could wait until we do the two-year operating budget next year. Second, our state revenue forecast trended down for the first time in two years. We’re also seeing other state’s exhibit economic activity hinting at another possible recession. We should not be draining our emergency reserve fund for ongoing expenses now – that’s like spending your rainy day fund the day before it starts raining!
– Rep. Larry Haler