Monday, March 20, 2023
March 20, 2023

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State Sen. Wilson criticizes Inslee’s budget proposal, calls for tax relief


CENTRALIA — State Sen. Lynda Wilson, R-Vancouver, released a statement on Wednesday criticizing Gov. Jay Inslee’s operating budget proposal. In Wilson’s view, Inslee’s budget fails to prioritize the issues that most affect families in Washington.

“Even though the state economist has warned us about the risk of a recession, the governor wants to spend just about every tax dollar available,” said Wilson, who serves as the top Republican on budget issues as ranking member of the Senate Ways and Means Committee. “His budget includes more than $2 billion that were deliberately stashed last year outside of the constitutionally protected rainy-day fund. It’s disappointing that he would increase state spending by 9.8 percent and still fail to invest in thoughtful answers to the things that concern Washington families most: the safety of our communities, the cost of living, and education issues that include K-12 learning loss. Those are Senate Republican priorities for 2023, but they don’t seem important to the governor.”

Wilson criticized Inslee’s lack of funding for law enforcement and prioritizing climate change issues over helping children overcome learning loss she says resulted from his policies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Wilson said Inslee’s budget would spend less than 44 percent of the general fund on K-12 education compared to the Republican proposal when they last held the Senate that would have spent over 50 percent of the general fund on K-12 education.

Wilson further criticized Inslee on taxes, attacking him on the gas tax, a payroll tax and what she called the “capital-gains income tax.” She accused the governor of raising revenue from a capital gains tax a lower state court had ruled unconstitutional while pretending the Washington state Supreme Court had already overturned the decision.

“The $6 billion in reserve are more than enough to support meaningful tax relief for the average Washington family — even something temporary to offset the effects of record price inflation. Unfortunately, the governor is showing once again that in his world, government’s desires come ahead of families’ needs,” Wilson said.