As I write this, Washington taxpayers will be lucky if they have 24 hours to review the most important budget the state has passed in modern history. This is a second-rate state of affairs, to say the least. It didn’t happen like this by accident, though. It happened because state Senate Republicans didn’t do their jobs and refused to negotiate with the Democrats until this past week.
I’ve served for 20 years as a community corrections officer here in Vancouver, and I agree with those who think that government should be run efficiently. The Senate GOP keeps taking us to the brink of these shutdowns every two years, though, forcing us to waste our time and taxpayer money preparing for a shutdown — when, instead, we could be doing our jobs and protecting public safety.
For 10 years, I was with a domestic violence unit, where we had complex systems to verify treatments, test for drug use, and more. If we waited until the last minute, we risked messing the whole system up, which would have put lives at risk.
Senate Republicans’ reckless behavior risks public safety; it’s time they quit playing politics with the lives of state employees and citizens.