The article “State House passes budget with more education money,” which ran in the Federal Way Mirror April 17, pointed out that I voted “no” on the House operating budget plan.
I voted “no” for one simple reason — the proposed budget relies on tax increases on hardworking families that can’t afford it.
While the headline may lead some to think I do not prioritize education, nothing could be further from the truth. I believe that not only should we fund education, but we should fund it first, in its own separate budget and before we fund anything else.
The bipartisan Senate proved with their budget that we can fund education, allocating more money than has ever been dedicated to it before, without reaching deeper into citizens' pockets.
Many people in our district can barely put food on the table, and the House budget would ask them for more money. According to the state Employment Security Department, at the end of 2012, there were more than 34,000 unemployed people in Pierce County and more than 76,000 unemployed in King County. The House Democrats' $1.1 billion tax increase proposal will cost the people of South King County jobs and slow the economic recovery that has added $2 billion already in state revenue collections through increased employment.
Asking for more money from struggling communities is putting politics before people.
I cannot in good conscience vote to take more from unemployed and underemployed residents, and I will always vote “no” on that. I am hopeful there will be a bipartisan budget that I can support this session and I look forward to voting “yes” on that budget.
I encourage you to write me, call my office or come to Olympia and tell me your opinion about the laws that we are creating here on your behalf. I am here to represent the people of the 30th District and share their voice.
Rep. Linda Kochmar, Federal Way