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Republican lawmaker responds to Gov. Inslee's $54 billion spending plan

state capitol
The Associated Press

Gov. Jay Inslee announced his proposed budget Thursday, calling for an additional $10 billion in state spending over the next two years. Olympia correspondent Austin Jenkins breaks down the plan, and state Rep. Bruce Chandler (R-Granger) reacted to it in an interview with All Things Considered host Ed Ronco.

Inslee’s massive proposal outlines several priorities, among them orca recovery, mental health and education funding. Inslee also is pushing again for a new state capital gains tax.

Chandler, the ranking member on the House Appropriations Committee, said lawmakers will make their way through the $54 billion spending plan “item by item” when they convene for the 2019 legislative session next month.

“There are a number of things that will send us backward rather than forward into the future,” Chandler told Ronco in the interview Thursday afternoon. He added that the governor’s attempt to repeal a new limit on local school levies, aimed at empowering districts to supplement education funding, is the wrong move.

“He completely takes us back to public education funding before McCleary,” Chandler said, stressing that it ignores a “constitutional directive.” “It will put us back in court, ultimately.”

Upon announcing the budget proposal in a news conference Thursday, Inslee underscored the Democratic majorities in the Legislature, hinting at his confidence that the proposal would gain approval.

Chandler said his job and that of fellow Republicans is to “defend the working families of this state.” Listen to the full conversation above.

Ed Ronco is a former KNKX producer and reporter and hosted All Things Considered for seven years.
Kari Plog is a former KNKX reporter who covered the people and systems in Pierce, Thurston and Kitsap counties, with an emphasis on police accountability.