“The House today released a solid budget proposal. While my staff is still reviewing the details, I am encouraged by its general framework.
“In many ways, the House budget mirrors the plan I unveiled in December. Most importantly, it makes a bold commitment to education. For example, in addition to taking a big step toward meeting our constitutional basic education obligations, the House makes a significant investment in early learning and freezes tuition at our colleges and universities.
“It is good news that the House recognized the need to give teachers and state employees a long-overdue cost-of-living raise. They have not received such a raise in seven years.
“The House budget also passes another important test: It is sustainable. It includes important new revenue that will enable us to meet our education needs and obligations without needing to gut other vital services. As with my budget, the House plan calls for a new capital gains tax that will ask our very wealthiest citizens to pay a slightly bigger share of state taxes — a small step toward fixing the most unfair state tax system in the nation. And the House proposes closing a number of outdated tax breaks.
“It is disappointing that the House did not include revenue from a carbon charge in its budget. But I appreciate House leadership’s commitment to continue working on the carbon charge bill so it may be included in the revenue plan. I will also keep working on it because putting a charge on polluters is a good way to fight carbon pollution and protect the health of Washingtonians as well as finance education, transportation and other pressing needs.
“On first review, I believe the House has produced a responsible, sustainable and fair budget that addresses most of our pressing needs. I hope we will soon see a proposal from the Senate so substantive bipartisan negotiations can begin.”