Wash. House Dems Unveil New Budget, Republicans Pan It

Apr 4, 2012

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington House Democrats have a new plan to rebalance the state budget and go home. The proposed spending blueprint unveiled Wednesday abandons a controversial delayed payment to school districts. But it would also leave less cash-on-hand in case of an emergency. Majority Leader Pat Sullivan says the House hopes to use the budget to kick start stalled negotiations.

Pat Sullivan: “We know that in order for us to have any opportunity to get done within the 30-day timeframe of the special session, which is next Tuesday, we have to begin this process, someone has to get the ball rolling.”

But Senate Republican budget writer Joe Zarelli says the new Democratic budget moves the two sides even farther apart.

Joe Zarelli: “This budget represents even a lower ending reserve fund than the last one they put out and it also makes us of more one-time money. Those are the two factors that make a budget most unsustainable.”

Normally Democrats control the Washington senate. But Republicans have new clout: last month they managed to pass a budget with the help of three breakaway Democrats. House leaders plan to vote on their new budget Thursday and send it to the Senate.

Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network