People of Northwest Public Radio
Wash. Revenue Forecast
Wed September 19, 2012
Normally Bipartisan Wash. Revenue Forecast Sees Partisan Flare-Up
Election year tensions erupted at Washington’s latest quarterly revenue forecast. At the center of the partisan flare-up Wednesday was former Republican gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi. He’s been appointed to finish out a vacancy in the Washington senate.
One of Rossi’s assignments is to sit on Washington’s bipartisan Economic and Revenue Forecast Council. The latest forecast shows tax revenues on the rebound. But there’s still a projected $1 billion shortfall in the next two-year budget. Plus lawmakers are supposed to make a court-ordered $1 billion down payment for schools. It’s called the McCleary decision. The question of how to solve that budget conundrum prompted this testy exchange between Rossi and Democrat Ed Murray, chair of the senate budget committee.
Rossi: “There’s a bigger picture here, and the bigger picture is many of the wounds in the budget are self-inflicted wounds, whether it’s McCleary or it’s going to be coming up with Medicaid and swallowing Obamacare hook, line and sinker.
Murray: “It’s sort of bipartisan inflicting then.”
Rossi: “Probably is.”
Murray: “It’s unfortunate that this forum is degrading into a campaign theme.”
The exchange was in sharp contrast to the sober, non-partisan economic forecast that shows continued slow growth in Washington’s economy.
Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network