Sen. Annette Cleveland, D-Vancouver, today issued the following statement after voting against the Senate Republican 2015-17 operating budget:

“The budget that advanced out of the Senate today passed on a party-line vote – 26 to 23. While I appreciate the budget as a beginning, I was not able to support the proposal and voted ‘no.’

“We should not rely on a budget that asks our working families to pay more while removing or cutting programs that help our most vulnerable. This budget protects those who can afford to pay more instead of those who cannot.

“I come from a working class family and understand how important it is to have living-wage jobs, access to quality education, and quality health care. These are three irreplaceable bricks to building healthy communities.

“I agree that we should prioritize education, job creation and access to medical care; I do not agree that we should do so at the expense of infrastructure investment and family-wage job creation. Too many Washingtonians, especially those in my hard-hit district, continue to struggle to find jobs.

“We should have a budget that truly reflects the values of both sides of the aisle. Today’s budget is not a result of that goal. This budget uses gimmicks, raids and one-time transfers to make ends meet.

“With less than 20 days left before the end of the legislative session, this budget should be aimed at building a more prosperous state for all of our citizens. This budget does not accomplish that aim.”