Wednesday was day 101 in Olympia, with no bipartisan budget agreement in sight. Dan Frizzell has that story in this audio report produced by the Washington State House Democratic Caucus.
The Republican majority in the state Senate OK’d five and a half billion dollars in new state property taxes last month, and they’ve refused to sit down to negotiate a state budget unless the majority Democrats in the House likewise vote for billions in new taxes first. Democrats say they won’t vote for a dime in new taxes without a detailed spending plan – AKA a budget – and the upshot is, the Washington Legislature will head into overtime when the 105-day regular session wraps up this Sunday. House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan is on the Democratic budget negotiating team . . . if negotiations ever start.
“We have to act like the leaders that the public expects us to be. The Senate has said that we have to pass revenue before they’ll start negotiations. We have to get to the negotiating table and get the problem solved as soon as possible. We think it should’ve happened weeks ago.”
Sullivan says he’s hopeful that the budget differences between the two chambers and two parties can be bridged relatively quickly, when budget talks finally begin. In Olympia, I’m Dan Frizzell.