Rep. Carlyle on the final days of session

As the Legislative session is winding down, 36th District Representative Reuven Carlyle sends these notes from Olympia.

The fast-paced, 60-day state legislative session is slated to end on March 11 and our final days in Olympia are filled with late nights and intense budget negotiations. As we strive to wrap up the people’s business, I wanted to take a moment to provide a high level overview of some of my projects as your representative in the Legislature.

A new independent report says Washington is expected to lead the nation in job growth this year. It’s a great start to economic recovery, but we have a long journey ahead. The heart and soul of our job growth, as always, is small business.

We face a projected $2.7 billion budget deficit following a $9 billion deficit last year. This is from a total of about $34 billion. The Great Recession has caused a dramatic drop off in tax revenues while demand for public services in education, health care, foster care, prisons and much more have increased substantially. It’s a perfect storm requiring courageous honesty about the deeper, more substantive public policy challenges we face.

A vast majority of our work in these final days has focused on balancing the budget in a thoughtful, equitable and economically efficient manner.

Here are some of my personal priorities this year.

I’m pleased to have passed from the House a major government efficiency and reform bill to meaningfully restructure how state government spends more than $2 billion per biennium on technology. I’ve been deeply frustrated that we spend so much without a strong, coordinated, enterprise wide approach. That needs to change and this bill is a major step.

House Bill 3178 is expected to save taxpayers $30 million this year alone and I’m proud of these reforms. That $30 million in savings will help pay for Reading Corps and other vital K-12 services in schools throughout Ballard, Queen Anne, Magnolia and throughout our city and state.

Another of my priority government reform bills is designed to help seek greater efficiencies in our state’s fantastic community and technical college system serving more than 500,000 people in 34 colleges statewide.

I am excited to have successfully included a major amendment in our state’s Race to the Top legislation designed to secure up to $250 million in federal funds for public education in our state. My provision effectively eliminates de-facto tenure for principals in Seattle. Next year I’ll introduce a second major bill to provide principals with greater authority to match the greater accountability we are requiring.

The Governor is expected to sign legislation I sponsored to make texting while driving a primary offense rather than a secondary offense. The bill also prohibits teenagers from using a cell phone for calling while behind the wheel.

Finally, the debate over revenues is not easy. Last year we passed an all cuts budget. This year we need a more balanced approach. One proposal is to raise the general sales tax, an idea that I do not support. I do favor aggressively closing tax loopholes and equalizing our state’s business and occupation and sales taxes across industries in a more equitable fashion. Our tax system is old, clunky and economically inefficient and we need a modern, 21st Century approach to how we fund our critical public services.

I’m passionate about improving government and making it more engaged in delivering services effectively and efficiently. I also hope we have the courage to ask the central question: If we were designing state government from scratch today what would it look like?

There are many other bills, proposals and issues in play in Olympia. Please reach out to me at: Carlyle.reuven@leg.wa.gov or visit my personal blog at: www.reuvencarlyle36.com.

Your partner in service,

Reuven Carlyle
State Representative
36th Legislative District


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onederfullone
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onederfullone

Oh boy, listen you have a tough job, but seriously, in your effort to be honest, let's start with this one, 'Last year we passed an all cuts budget.' Just because you didn't increase taxes,(because you couldn't), doesn't mean it was 'all cuts'. The last budget was increased state spending, not less, and was only balanced by the federal funds provided. You, DID NOT cut spending. This year, again, increased spending, NO CUTS, some federal dollars, you buried our initiative to restrict revenue increases, and are full speed heading us of the cliff fiscally by again, increasing revenue to the state.And, while I'm at it, these jobs that you folks are creating are temporary, make work jobs, state employee increases that are unsustaninable by any measure, and increaseing taxes right now is absolutely the wrong thing to do to the citizens of this state.Nice job.Frame it how you will, I'm mad as hell that you have yet to do the right thing, facing a serious crisis.Feel good legislation isn't going to work for us, catch phrases that are dishonest will only serve to increase divisiveness.This state is headed for some painful realities, and putting this off will make it worse,… Read more »

Bark more, Wag Less
Guest
Bark more, Wag Less

“we need a modern, 21st Century”

Well dude, an income tax is very 20th century. Go look at California: income, sales and property taxes and yet….

BallardDINK
Guest
BallardDINK

Reuven, lead the charge on cutting state spending. Start with prisons. It's a huge line-item, and a clear voter-supported move–decriminalizing marijuana–would put a serious dent in that expense.

Raising taxes? Implementing an income tax? Don't you dare.

ThomasW
Guest
ThomasW

What we need to do is get rid of the people in power that have spent this state into a $2.7 billion defecit and elect new people that will stop making excuses and do what it takes to solve the problem

That means you Mr. Carlyle.

h2o_girl
Guest
h2o_girl

Since Rep. Carlyle was only elected a little over a year ago, it's doubtful he has spent the state into a $2.7 billion deficit.

NWCitizen
Member
NWCitizen

“What we need to do is get rid of the people in power that have spent this state into a $2.7 billion defecit …” Indeed we do need to do that but by and large those are not people at the State and local levels. Those are the folks who allowed the giant Wall Street ponzi scheme to go on for years until the whole house of cards crashed around our ears. Those are, among others, The Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, Secretary of the Treasury, Timothy Geithner, and Chief Financial Advisor, Larry Summers. There are of course others but these are the same folks who are still in charge. Add to the list most members of Congress who refuse to reinstitute reasonable regulations on the financial sector. We passed those regulations after the Great Depression and they worked pretty well for a long time until our collective amnesia allowed us to forget why they were put there in the first place. Various players chipped away at the regulatory structure until there was virtually none left to oversee and prevent the kind of risky investment practices that was allowed to continue until the world economy began to collapse.… Read more »

ThomasW
Guest
ThomasW

Time to stop making excuses and start making the changes that will get things done.

Carlyle is definetly part of the problem. The problem we have right here at home. The problem that led directly to the Democat party staging a cuop d'etat last week (during the Olympics when no one was paying attention) and overturning initiative 960, the will of the people. The problem caused by the spend spend spend – tax tax tax mentality.

We need someone who will stand up to the state employees unions and start cutting back on the size of the workforce to get the budget back under control.

Carlyle will never do that. He's got to go.

Doc
Guest
Doc

Raise taxes?!? Seriously?

Please don't do this, Rueven. Not for businesses. Not for individuals. No rationalization. No excuses. Just don't do it.

The Horse With No Name
Guest
The Horse With No Name

Raising taxes is political suicide!!
Look here bro, if you wish to keep your seat I strongly suggest you vote against any new tax or fee as well as well as any tax or fee increase and say no to any more federal funds; the less Obomao the better. Voting to cut spending will go a long way towards helping you keep your present job. Remember the golden rules of politics: 1) all politics is local; 2) the unemployed love to make politicians a member of their club; 3) the State of Washington will never possess an income tax, and; 4) it is the taxpayer's money, not yours and not the state's so don't waste it. Got that homey.

onederfullone
Guest
onederfullone

In addition, if I were going to design a state government from scratch, I'd not be hoping into bed with the federal government. The state government is supposed to be a check on the powers of the federal government, and you idiots (all of you) have given away our protections. Finally, to feed at the trough of the Fed, for one final meal, you have sold us all down the river. Treasonous evil is at work. I condemn this state's 'leaders' as vehemently as possible. I have but one voice, and it WILL be heard.
You have your suckling brood at your teet, that is all you have, it is not enough.

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