Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, released this statement today after Senate Republicans refused to allow a vote on the state capital budget:
“It is incredibly unfortunate that on the final day of the special legislative session, the Senate Republicans placed their political agenda ahead of the wellbeing of our children, mentally ill, homeless and public and private workers.
“While the capital budget had near-unanimous support in the House, the Senate Republicans refused to allow a vote, blocking $4.2 billion in more than 1,400 projects across Washington.
“The budget would have invested in our children by building new classrooms across the state, which would help satisfy the Supreme Court’s McCleary ruling and is the right thing to do.
“It would have provided for homeless youth and affordable housing to build a safe place for every person and family to call home.
“The budget would have funded critical beds at Western State Hospital and facilities across the state to maintain federal accreditation and provide the care and service for those facing mental health illnesses.
“The budget also would have supported hundreds of public and more than 19,000 private jobs.
“In our district, the capital budget would have funded critical community and recreation programs in North Puget Sound, and finally create the Harriet Spanel State Forest, also known as Blanchard Mountain.
“It is unconscionable that we would go home without voting on this critical budget. Our job as Senators is to do what is best for our communities and state. It is time for us to come together and govern. I remain fully supportive of the agreed upon, bipartisan capital budget and will work tirelessly to get it passed. It is my hope that Senate Republicans will join us.”