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Schlicher votes against budget ‘that harms the poor and vulnerable’

OLYMPIA – Unable to support a spending plan that targets the state’s most vulnerable citizens, State Sen. Nathan Schlicher (D-Gig Harbor) on Friday, April 5, cast his vote against the 2013-15 budget.

“While there are some positive aspects, I am forced to vote against a budget that is balanced on the backs of the poor and vulnerable,” said Schlicher.  “If adopted, this budget will leave 25,000 men, women and children without homes and will cut $200 million from the safety net designed to support those who need our help the most.  These are not bargaining chips.  These are people’s lives.  I cannot in good conscience vote for such a budget.”

Although he was pleased to see that the Senate budget (Senate Bill 5034) would fully implement the Affordable Care Act, improve mental health treatment, put $100 million into higher education and invest $1 billion toward the McCleary decision, Schlicher said the budget is rife with gimmicks and cost shifts that forced his “no” vote.

“This budget does nothing to create long-term sustainability, which means we’ll be back here next year making adjustments to balance things out,” said Schlicher.  “The majority plan is full of the kinds of cost shifts and inefficiencies they have been so quick to criticize in the past.”

The budget passed the Senate on a 30-18 vote.

Schlicher said he is hopeful the House of Representatives will restore some of the devastating cuts and inefficiencies and create a sustainable budget that he can support.

“I will continue to work with all members of the Legislature and Gov. Inslee to find a sustainable, balanced and thoughtful budget that does not punish the poor and the children of our state,” said Schlicher.  “But I cannot go back to the ER and care for the homeless man or tell the man in charge that I voted against the most vulnerable.”

 

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