Fri, 29 May 2015 12:09:00 -0900
30 days of posturing and negotiating in both the halls of the Legislative
Building and in media across the state, the Democrats and Republicans arrived
at the deadline for the 1st Special Legislative Session without an operating
budget to send to the governor. Governor Inslee and the Democrat led House
continue to demand additional revenue in the form of a new tax, while the
Majority Coalition Caucus in the Senate reject any tax increases and have voted
out of the Senate yet another budget proposal that needs no additional revenue.
economic forecast found $400 million in additional income over the next two
years, which has brought the gap between Democrat and Republican budgets
closer. But Democrats still claim a need for new money to maintain current
programs and fund education, and are specifically pointing to a new state
capital gains tax as the pathway to a budget agreement.
Inlsee has scolded the legislature for its inaction, and has pledged to have
budget negotiations moved to his office beginning on the first day of the 2nd
Special Session. The governor has been unsuccessful in his previous motivation
strategy of brining in leadership from both parties, presenting a set of
demands, and closing debate on the matter. The legislature was able to pass a
$7.6 Billion transportation-funding bill that will maintain current
transportation projects, but they have not come to an agreement on a funding
bill for new projects. The intensity and acrimony will likely increase over the
next several days and possibly weeks as the 2nd Special Session
moves further towards government shutdown deadlines.