Weary-Eyed Legislators FINALLY Pass a Budget

by lewwaters

After what seems like almost an eternity, Washington State Legislators finally wrapped up another special session to write a budget that should have been accomplished during regular session this term.

The ongoing battle and ignoring a $1.5 Billion budget gap in order to ram homosexual marriage down the throats of taxpayers ended early Wednesday morning and exhausted legislators, held in the legislature overnight by Governor Gregoire announced, “It’s balanced, it doesn’t cut education, we have an agreement, and it’s a quarter to five” by House Ways and Means Chairman Ross Hunter, D-Medina.

Erik Smith of Washington State Wire reports,

“The 64-34 vote on that measure was one of the final moves in a 40-hour legislative endgame that settled all the loose ends of the 2012 Legislature. Just after 6 a.m., the same bill cleared the Senate 44-2.”

Before going to bed last evening, I left a comment on a Columbian article announcing yet another special session due to the legislature not finalizing a budget still of, “Still fighting the only true bipartisan budget proposed?” My comment relates back to the bipartisan “Ninth Order” maneuver we saw in the closing hours of the regular session earlier in March.

Rep. Jim Moeller D. Vancouver who labeled the maneuver “the worst abuse of power” he had ever seen, replied in the wee hours of this morning,

“The budget is not the issue. The tough decisions are always made on the last day, at the last minute. It’s how the system is set up and that will not change. If we had a king, we would not have to work out our differences like we do now. The decisions would be made for us. I like this way much better. I’ll bet just about everyone else does too.”

Moeller, it must be remembered, was one legislator identified as accepting per diem during the special session while essentially doing little or nothing!

Rachel La Corte, of the Associated Press informs us,

“The budget plan relies heavily on an accounting maneuver, valued at $238 million, in which the state would temporarily claim control of local sales taxes before they are redistributed back to jurisdictions at their usual time — roughly a month after they are collected. Some social safety net programs that were at risk of being cut were preserved.”

“The budget increases taxes, raising $14.5 million by eliminating a tax deduction for some large banks. It also brings in some $12 million by changing rules on roll-your-own cigarettes.”

“Lawmakers plan to leave some $320 million in reserves.”

I believe that “accounting maneuver” would fall within what was previously labeled a “felony gimmick” by State Treasurer Jim McIntire just last month.

I suspect too, larger banks losing tax breaks will pass along any increases in their costs to citizens in the form of higher bank fees or what they charge smaller banks to do business with them.

Taxing of “roll your own” cigarettes continues the effort to force smokers to quit by excessive taxation with the end result being a loss of the needed revenues they expect to gain.

Another move that is “expected to save the state an estimated $1.3 billion over 25 years,” legislators passed a measure “penalizing state workers who retired before age 62 with lower pension benefits,” but it only applies to those state workers who are hired after May 2013.

It is unknown whether or not the state workers unions will file a lawsuit to overturn the measure as has been seen in several other budget cutting measures. But, the Washington State Wire does inform us it was “strongly opposed by the Washington Federation of State Employees and other labor unions.”

On a measure to “create equity in health insurance premiums between teachers and state employees,” we read, “The Washington Education Association called it ‘a convoluted hodgepodge of new requirement’,” while the Public School Employees union “called it a ‘modest step’ and a ‘missed opportunity’ for major reform.”

The last major bill to pass was a “measure that will issue bonds for nearly $1 billion in public works projects,” supposedly aimed to “create 20,000 jobs.” House Capital Budget Chairman Hans Dunshee, D-Snohomish said of that bill, “The sun is coming up and people are going to work now, and after we pass this more people will be going to jobs,” perpetuating the myth that public sector jobs will pull us out of the “Great Recession” we are still mired in.

Judy Warnick, R-Moses Lake, House Republican lead on the issue acknowledged the 60-day regular session and two full special sessions of 30 days each and the added one-day all night special session with, “I would agree that people are going to work. We should be on our way to work, rather than going home from work.”

It took nearly six months, but we finally got a budget passed. What is cost us in per diem is not yet known. How it will work out, what with yet another “kick the can down the road” measure and another self defeating tax increase won’t be seen until later this year.

But, if we don’t change the look of political power in Olympia soon, this nonsense will just continue.

4 Comments to “Weary-Eyed Legislators FINALLY Pass a Budget”

  1. Meanwhile the initiative and the referendum to overturn this stupid “Gay marriage” business just keep rolling along…

    Sign those petitions folks and let’s negate this Bullsheet.

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  2. Start realizing the “who” that is, the specific legislator, which puts these insane ideas forward in the form of initiatives and bills. Jim “da candy man” Moeller is notorious for his tax measures and personal interest agenda. Here in the 49th we have had no reasonable minded representation for years. Wylie is just a face that speaks “non answers” when she is asked a question. When the voters learn to read up on them and vote them out we will see a shift toward more responsible government with less regulations and spending.

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  3. “Taxing of “roll your own” cigarettes continues the effort to force smokers to quit by excessive taxation with the end result being a loss of the needed revenues they expect to gain.”

    You know what these people will just do? Go to Oregon, a indian reservation or online sources to get around DUMB ideas like taxing individual smoker papers.

    I never understand where they come up with such dumb ideas? and why our legislature had to spend valuable time on other useless ideas instead of passing this budget??

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  4. Because the legislature is controlled by Liberal morons, Jeremy. It’s no more “complex” than that.

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