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Tag: Gary Alexander


House budget advances from Appropriations Committee; floor vote expected Friday or Saturday

A budget plan that would raise $1.3 billion through new taxes in Washington state passed the House Appropriations Committee late Thursday night, setting it up for a vote on the House floor Friday or Saturday.

The spending plan proposed by House Democrats would eliminate 15 tax breaks for certain businesses such as travel agencies, while raising taxes on commodities including beer and bottled water. That money would help put $1.9 billion toward basic education in Washington state, which legislators are under a court order to fully fund by 2018.

The budget passed the House committee on an 18-13 vote at

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House Republican plan would devote $817 million to McCleary, expand Medicaid

Minority Republicans in the state House today called for devoting $817 million over the next two years to meet a state Supreme Court mandate to fund K-12 schools.

They released the first spending plan the public has seen since the legislative session began two months ago, combining a detailed budget for K-12 education with only broad sketches of how other obligations would be met — notably, without general tax increases and by taking federal money offered by President Barack Obama’s health-care law to expand Medicaid insurance.


“The affordable health care act is here. It’s already been passed. We already

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House panel votes 11-0 for bill requiring state voter pamphlets for primary elections

There was no suspense and nary a word of discussion to precede it. The House Government Operations and Elections Committee voted 11-to-0 today to send Republican Rep. Gary Alexander’s primary-election voter pamphlet bill to the full House for consideration.

House Bill 1211 would cost about $1 million per budget cycle and pay for a state voter pamphlet for primary elections. It is the first of a handful of elections bills identified by Democratic committee chairman Sam Hunt for passage this year.

My elections bill roundup post from last week is here.  HB 1211 needs approval by

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DOA? Republican reception to Gregoire budget plan quite chilly

Rep. Gary Alexander, the top Republican on the House Appropriations Committee, says Gov. Chris Gregoire’s latest budget proposals that call for tax hikes are as good as “dead on arrival.” Republican Sen. Andy Hill, who hopes to take over the Senate Ways and Means Committee in January, said he also sees little chance of passing taxes, and Hill notes incoming Gov. Jay Inslee had said during his campaign he would veto tax increases.

I’m still waiting to hear what Inslee really thinks of the complicated plan, which can be seek its its full roll-out glory here. Inslee’s spokesman put out a limited, non-committal statement here.

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House GOP to make first budget move

Since Christmas, Thurston County Rep. Gary Alexander, state House Republicans’ lead budget negotiator, says he has been working on a proposal for bridging the state’s $1.5 billion budget gap that he hopes to present to negotiators Monday on the first day of the legislative session.

Alexander’s plan would leave fewer people covered by the state’s safety net, he acknowledges. But unlike Gov. Chris Gregoire’s plan, he said, his proposal won’t release any inmates early, reduce supervision for those already out of prison, or cut funding for school districts that helps reduce the disparity created by differences in local levies.


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Budget negotiators aim for partial solution

Top Republican and Democratic budget writers in the House say they are now trying to reach a deal on some of the less controversial proposed budget cuts, with hopes of eliminating just a fraction of the state’s $2 billion budget shortfall in the Legislature’s emergency session.

An “early-action” plan in the works might carve out $400 million or $500 million that both parties can agree on, said the House GOP’s lead budget negotiator, Rep. Gary Alexander. He hopes they can reach a deal by next week that can be presented to the public and the Senate.

He declined to detail

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Bill to save Tacoma museum passes out of committee

A bill in the Legislature to save museums in Olympia, Tacoma and Spokane made it out of committee today, but it could still face some tough political resistance.

In a 6-5 vote, the House State Government and Tribal Affairs Committee passed House Bill 2033, which would create a Department of Heritage arts and Culture and set aside money to keep state museums open, though it went through amendments that reduced the state programs that would make up the new department.

What’s at stake in the bill is finding money for three state museums, including Tacoma’s State History Museum, that Gov. Chris Gregoire’s budget proposal would have funded at such low levels they would not be able to stay open to the public.

It’s been controversial because the bill would take money away from a proposed State Heritage Center in Olympia that would house the State Library and Archives.

Rep. Jeanne Darnielle, a Tacoma Democrat and the primary sponsor of the bill, said it was worth it to transfer money from the Heritage Center project into a fund to benefit the new department because of the programs it would preserve.

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Morning update: Day 86

Discussions about the state budget continue today with an 8 a.m. public hearing on the House version of the capital budget. In response to the latest two-year operating budget proposal, which House Democrats released yesterday, Rep. Gary Alexander, R-Thurston County, said he planned to unveil a Republican version tomorrow.

Also responding to democratic budget proposals, a group called the Olympia Coalition for a Fair Budget is planning a day-long demonstration event asking state legislators to close corporate tax loopholes before cutting state services. They’ll have a rally at noon on the Capitol steps.

At 1 p.m. today, Gov. Chris Gregoire

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