budget

Washington’s special session begins next Monday. But at this point it seems unlikely House and Senate budget negotiators will be close to a deal. Governor Jay Inslee said both sides agreed Tuesday on some common assumptions about the next two year budget.

Inslee spoke at the end of a bill signing ceremony. For now he’s measuring progress in these budget negotiations by the week, not the day. A budget is made up of hundreds if not thousands of assumptions about how much something will or won’t cost. How much a cut will or won’t save.

Chris Lehman

Oregon lawmakers will find out later this month how much money will be available to spend in the upcoming budget cycle. So right now, there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes maneuvering in the budget-writing process. Education, as usual, is in line for the biggest piece of the pie. But human service advocates say after years of budget turmoil, this year could be their chance to restore funding for Oregon’s social safety net. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman reports:

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

The Washington legislature has adjourned after a 105-day session. The final gavels fell just after six o’clock Sunday night.

Owen: “The 2013 regular session of the 63rd legislature is adjourned Sine Die"

But the adjournment won’t last long. Governor Jay Inslee immediately called a special session for two weeks from now because the House and Senate failed to come to agreement on a two-year budget. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins reports.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Washington Governor Jay Inslee will give lawmakers a two week cooling off period before calling them back into special session. That announcement Sunday evening followed the formal adjournment of the regular 105-day session.

Two days after a proposed tax hike faltered in the Oregon House, a union-backed group has filed initiatives to raise taxes on corporations. The move by Our Oregon Friday could be a repeat of a bitter tax fight three years ago.

Our Oregon has successfully led two tax campaigns in the last few years. The group estimates the six initiatives it’s looking at for 2014 would raise corporate taxes anywhere from $75 million to more than $1 billion a year.

Special Session Looms In Olympia

Apr 25, 2013

Washington’s 105-day legislative session ends this Sunday. House Democrats took a nearly $1 billion tax vote Wednesday. But there’s still no budget deal. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins says Governor Jay Inslee stopped short of saying a special session will be necessary.

Governor Jay Inslee is like the gambler. He says it would take an “inside straight” for the legislature to complete its work by Sunday’s deadline. 

It was a day of drama in the Oregon House Wednesday. First, majority Democrats failed to round up enough “yes” votes for a $275 million tax hike. Then, Democrats scored a victory by sending their version of a public pension cost-cutting proposal to Governor John Kitzhaber.

The plan targeted upper income earners and corporations. But tax hikes require a three-fifths vote and Democrats needed at least two Republicans to cross the aisle to move their measure forward. That didn't happen.

It appears more likely Washington lawmakers will go into an overtime session. The regular 105-day session ends this Sunday. But the House and Senate, along with the governor, still have to agree on a two-year budget deal. Even if a deal was at hand -- and it doesn’t appear one is -- they’d be cutting it close.

Washington House Democrats are getting praise and scorn for their proposed $1.3 billion tax package for schools. At a public hearing Friday lawmakers heard tales of hardship from people for and against the tax measure.

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