The State House has just put forth a new budget plan (S/R link, I think they have a limit, but I’ve never hit it).
House Democrats offered to trim back spending and drop many proposals on taxes as part of a compromise they say would allow the Legislature to pass a 2013-15 operating budget before time runs out in the special session.
The $33.6 billion plan for the next biennium spends an extra $700 million on public schools in an attempt to meet a state Supreme Court mandate, although less than their leaders proposed at the beginning of the year.
It closes fewer tax exemptions and preferences and would not extend a business and occupation tax surcharge or higher taxes on beer that are scheduled to expire at the end of the month. A separate proposal would close or reduce seven tax exemptions, raising an estimated $256 million. That money would be dedicated to specific programs in public schools or colleges if they pass as separate legislation.
Well, I mean sure. It’s pretty shitty, but maybe at least now there can be a compromise. I guess a bad budget is better than no budget. I don’t want to give the impression I’m happy that the Democrats blinked, but they have to pass a budget that people like Rodney Tom’s
Republicans Republicans can support.
But the coalition of 23 Republicans and two Democrats that holds the 25-24 majority in the Senate, was less enthusiastic.
“I’m disappointed that this House budget proposal is balanced on the backs of Washington’s school children,” Sen. Rodney Tom, D-Medina, the majority leader, said in a prepared statement. The coalition “will not let political expediency get in the way of fulfilling our obligation to provide for our schools.”
Seriously, fuck you Rodney Tom. If you’re concerned about the obligation to provide for schools, how about raise taxes? But Rodney Tom is bitter asshole, a man so consumed with keeping his ill-gotten power that he would almost certainly kick kittens and then blame Democrats for not stopping him. Maybe other Republicans will be better. I’ll just go over to the House Republican Caucus page and see what they’re doing. Surely they’ll be more reasona…nevermind.
“I am also concerned about the process they decided to use – going through the media via a press conference and using two separate bills. To me, this looks like a step back from the negotiating table. Negotiating through the media by staging press conferences by the governor and House Democrats doesn’t bring the two chambers together.
I know, because all the indications were that the budget negotiations were going soooooooo smooooooothly before this. That’s why there’s a special session and it’s also why there have been warnings that we might go over a cliff. Because the process was working too well before people actually put their ideas forward for the public. Christ.