Programming alert: How to rescan your TV to keep watching JOEtv with your antenna

State legislators play blame game over budget impasse

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

OLYMPIA -- State lawmakers have less than two weeks to approve a two-year state budget before the regular legislative session ends.

On Thursday, leaders from both parties traded sharps words over the latest budget impasse that threatens to take legislators into a special session.

State Sen. Andy Hill, R-Redmond, the GOP’s chief budget writer, accused the Democrats of purposely dragging things out.

“When you refuse to pass your $1.5 billion in taxes, it seems like a delaying tactic to me,” Hill said.  “There is a belief that when you shut down government, Republicans will take the blame.”

Democrats were quick to respond.

“It’s ridiculous to think that we’re not eager about getting done on time,” said Rep. Pat Sullivan, D-Covington, the House majority leader.

He blames the GOP for the delay.

“They need to unlock the door,” said Sullivan.  “They said they were willing to negotiate, then they locked the door.  We’re willing to come in again at any time.”

The Democratic-led House and the Republican-controlled Senate are $1.5 billion apart.  They each add over $1 billion in new money to schools to meet the Washington Supreme Court mandate to fully fund education.  But the approaches are very different.

Democrats are calling for a new capital gains tax on the wealthiest Washingtonians.  Republicans argue the state can meet all its obligations, including to public schools, within existing revenue.

With just 10 days to come together, most people now expect that lawmakers will indeed be heading into special session.

The state’s fiscal year ends on June 30, so if they still have a few months to forge a deal before the government would have to be shut down.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


  • Morris Ryan

    State Senate has passed a budget that balances with the more than $3 billion in additional money coming into state government in the next two years, while both Inslee and House Democrats have outlined plans to spend money the state doesn’t have, and demanded that the Senate create a state income tax to fund their spending wish list.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.