Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Senate Republicans oppose spending cuts

Two bills that trim a total of $69 million from the state payroll were approved by the Senate today without a single Republican vote between them.

Senate Bill 6382 will extend the salary freeze for many state employees that was approved last year and prevent agencies from handing out bonuses. It passed on a party-line vote of 29-14.

Senate Bill 6503 give agencies until May 15 to develop plans to cut $69 million from their budgets. Agencies that fail to submit plans would be required to effectively shut down one day a month for 13 months to save payroll costs. It passed on a vote of 27-17, with Sen. Tim Sheldon (D-35th District) and Sen. Karen Fraser (D-22nd District) voting with the Republicans.

These are painful cuts. In spite of what most conservatives will tell you, state employees are real people, and freezing their pay or actually cutting it through furloughs means real people suffer. They have less money to spend, and that doesn't help our consumer based economy.

Democrats put these cuts on the table - as painful as they are - because there are no pain-free cuts left to make to a state budget that has already been cut to the bone. But where are the Republicans?

It is obvious by their actions that conservatives in Olympia are not interested in governing. They claim our state spends too much and doesn't need additional revenue while refusing to put forward an all-cuts budget of their own.

And now they even refuse to bite the bullet and vote for bills that cut millions of dollars from what they claim is a bloated budget!


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