Washington Budget Balance
4:15 pm
Tue February 28, 2012

Wash. Senate Democrats Defend Delayed Payment To Re-Balance Budget

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington lawmakers are hurtling toward a deadline to adjourn next Thursday. Majority Democrats still have to agree on a plan to re-balance the state budget. Tuesday, Senate Democrats unveiled a blueprint that includes a controversial move: paying a couple of bills a day late.

The Governor was the first to propose it, back in November. Delay a huge payment to school districts by one day from this two-year budget cycle into the next. It didn’t get much attention then because the governor was also proposing a temporary sales tax increase. Now that the sales tax idea is all but dead, the delayed payment is receiving more scrutiny. Both House and Senate Democrats also include it in their budget re-balancing proposals. Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown says it’s either that or:

Lisa Brown: “I’d like to hear the $330 million of either cuts to the social safety net or education that are preferable to changing the date of the payment or the $330 million of tax increases that people would rather pay rather than change the date of the payment.”

Republicans counter the delayed payment amounts to kicking the problem into the next budget cycle.

Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network