Washington state’s Republicans have trust issues with Governor Jay Inslee after he vetoed a range of provisions in the recently-passed budget.
“If you cannot trust, you revert back to Reagan’s line ‘Trust but verify’,” Senate Majority Leader Mark Schoesler told The Dori Monson Show. “You could trust Mike Lowry, a real Liberal’s Liberal. We are having trouble now trusting that a deal is a deal.”
Schoesler would not directly say that Governor Inslee is an untrustworthy person, but did say that the vetoes made in the wake of the budget “would lead you to believe that.”
The state’s budget took three special sessions to work out and for Republicans and Democrats to get past their differences. One part of the deals that were made was a provision that, Schoesler said, would extend tax breaks enjoyed by Boeing to the rest of the state’s manufacturers. The Republican senator said that the state has lost 50,000 manufacturing jobs since 2000, so such tax breaks are needed to help the smaller businesses.
“Most of the large companies in the state, over the years, have more favorable tax treatment for one thing or another,” Schoesler said. “The small, medium-sized manufactures spread across the state don’t have this. This would have given them an added boost to be more competitive in a national and international economy.”
Inslee has argued that the tax break was worked into the budget in an unaccountable way, at the last minute. He also said he was never consulted about the provision, or asked if he would veto it. Inslee said that it was not fair to have Washington residents pay more in property taxes while giving businesses a break.
“It’s a really lame excuse,” Schoesler said. “…the two are not linked. This is a lame excuse. This was a bill that was in public hearing, that was brought before the Senate earlier that simply says every manufacturer should have the same break as Boeing.”
Schoesler further said that Inslee’s staff helped put together the deal for this specific provision, so the governor’s office was fully aware of it. So when the governor vetoed it, emotions ran high.
“It was outrage,” Schoesler said. “Like many other members of the Senate and I think the business community across the state. Your deal is not a deal. That’s really disappointing that you can’t stick with your deal.”
Schoesler is not along in this sentiment. Republican Senator Doug Ericksen has also been vocal about his reaction to Inslee’s vetoes. He also says Inslee’s claims that he was not consulted about the provision or a potential veto are not true.
“I had personal assurances from the governor’s legislative affairs director and from his head of communication that there would be no veto,” Ericksen told Seattle’s Morning News. “When he vetoes these items it violates the trust of the Legislature.”
“Whether he liked it or didn’t like it, he should have been honest with us and said he would have vetoed a section like that,” he said. “There would have been other things we would have moved around in the budget to take care of that. When you have a deal, you have a deal. I have never seen a governor act in this way in my 18 years in the Legislature.”