Even though I am a natural optimist, I recognize that good times do not last forever. Just a few weeks ago the economy was riding high…a record setting stock market, the lowest unemployment rate on record and revenues coming into the state treasury that far surpassed expectations. It is truly amazing how quickly things can change.
This sudden change has reinforced my belief that it is critical that every level of government practice fiscal responsibility no matter how rosy the economy seems to be. In the recent legislative session, the Democrats in Olympia chose to squander a revenue surplus with a myriad of new and expanded programs rather than shore up the rainy day fund and return excess funds to the true owners — the taxpayers. Even if the legislature had exercised wisdom in our state expenditures, we would be facing a crisis of still unknown proportions, but we would be in a better position to shorten the recovery.
It is too early to know what we will be facing when the legislature enters the 2021 session, but I am committed to the careful safeguarding of every tax dollar. Recovery will not be instantaneous, but as we practice sound financial principles we will indeed recover, and we can be increasingly prepared for every future crisis.