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Local Senator pleased with supplemental budget proposal

February 25th, 2014 - 5:36am

(Olympia) – A local state Senator says he's happy with the Senate's supplemental budget proposal rolled out yesterday in Olympia.

Sen. Jim Hargrove says the budget will protect critical social safety net programs. Hargrove serves as the ranking democrat on the Senate Ways & Means Committee and was the lead Democrat at the negotiating table.

“My caucus certainly agrees with K-12 as a priority, money for higher ed, but I wanted to make sure everybody understood – we did this without cutting the social safety net. That was one of the priorities for our caucus, that we not go back into cutting things for the underprivileged or people that are on the fringes in order to make that kind of investment. That was one of our priorities. The collective bargaining agreements were again a priority for us as we move forward in this and also adding some additional money into our mental health system,” said Hargrove.

The $95.7 million proposed bipartisan budget offers funding for maintenance level changes to caseloads and makes needed investments in our state’s mental health system and technology in K-12 education. This proposal does not make any cuts to the underlying budget and will not be tied to reform packages, as happened last year. The Senate hopes to vote on the proposal later this week.

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