April 24, 2015
In Half of the Fourteen Weeks of This Legislative Session, Republicans Have Taken a 3-Day Weekend on the Peoples’ Dime
OLYMPIA – Today marks the conclusion of the 2015 legislative session and there has been a rare sighting at the State Capitol, more rare than sightings of the mythical Sasquatch - Senate Republicans showing up for work on a Friday.
Republicans have had a problem working a full week this session. They have consistently canceled committee hearings and floor action throughout the legislative session. This includes the cancellation of committees prior to the legislative cut-off that killed popular measures like equal pay for women, increasing the minimum wage and requiring paid sick leave.
“Republicans like to point the finger at Democrats when it comes to why we are going into special session, but the fact is, just like Congressional Republicans, Andy Hill and Senate Republicans have been dodging their responsibilities and marching towards gridlock,” said Jamal Raad, Communications Director for the Washington State Democrats. “What’s especially egregious is that while they are slated to get raises and taking long weekends, they are cutting benefits and breaking contracts with state workers and teachers. No wonder the biggest school district in Andy Hill's district is joining a walkout in protest of his failure of leadership.”
Senate Republicans have taken 3-day weekends an astounding seven out of the fourteen weeks this session, showing up for work on Fridays 50% of the time.
January 16, 2015 (week 1)
January 23, 2015 (week 2)
February 6, 2015 (week 4)
February 20, 2015 (week 6 and also policy cutoff day)
March 13, 2015 (week 9)
April 3, 2015 (week 12)
April 10, 2015 (week 13)
Republicans have refused to negotiate in good faith and have passed a budget that riddled with gimmicks and tax shifts that mask the real cuts they are making to programs working-class families depend on.
Editorial Boards across the state went so far as to call their budget tactics “illegal” and the “wrong solution,” “shamelessly irresponsible,” and said their budget “relies on likely unsustainable gimmicks,” and uses "smoke-and-mirrors budgeting techniques.”
“When it comes to why we are facing a special session, Senate Republicans must look squarely in the mirror,” said Raad. “If they would stop working overtime to protect the ultra-wealthy, Big Oil and other special interests, and actually showed up to work for the people of our state we would likely be adjourning today.”