Senate Democratic Leader Sharon Nelson issued the statement below following the unveiling of the Senate Republican budget:

“The Senate Republicans have ignored key issues important to the vast majority of Washingtonians all year. Their budget reflects that.

“Senate Republicans cut mental health, ignore our state’s homelessness problem and balance their budget by gambling with the pensions of retired firefighters, police officers and teachers.

“Most inexplicable, however, is the damage it does to K-12 education.

“The Senate Republican budget contains a hidden $53 million cut to K-3 class sizes. It ignores the $19 million fine owed for failing to produce an education funding plan. It falls far short of addressing the state’s teacher shortage crisis and does nothing to invest in attracting and retaining quality teachers.

“The House budget invests $99 million in K-12 education. This despite the misleading, manufactured hogwash you hear from Senate Republicans about a mythical cut.

“The Senate Republican budget doesn’t even kick the can down the road – it misses it entirely.”