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Tag: margarita prentice


Report: Margarita Prentice out as budget chair

State Sen. Margarita Prentice told Andrew Garber of the Seattle Times she’s stepping down as Ways and Means chairwoman.

The longtime Renton lawmaker expects to leave the powerful budget-writing post and become Senate president pro tempore, the job left behind by the retiring Sen. Rosa Franklin.

That frees up the budget chairman’s job for another Senate Democrat. Prentice said it would likely be Sen. Ed Murray, now the Democrats’ caucus chairman.

Earlier: I wrote about a possible shakeup on Ways and Means here and about the broader leadership shift here.


Who will write the state budget?

Whoever leads the Legislature’s budget committees next year will have to eliminate a $4.5 billion deficit at a time when federal aid is drying up and voters have all but ruled out the use of tax increases. That means lots of tough cuts.

What glutton for punishment would want this job?

If House Ways and Means Chairwoman Kelli Linville is retired by voters, there’s a host of plausible successors among the chairmen of the budget subcommittees: people like Tacoma Rep. Jeannie Darneille. Finance Committee Chairman Ross Hunter of Medina declined to say if he wants to move to budget chairman.

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Senate: Raise sales and cigarette tax, close prisons

State Senate leaders today proposed raising the sales tax by three-tenths of a cent until 2013 and adding $1 to the tax on a pack of cigarettes to avoid more drastic budget cuts to fill a $2.8 billion shortfall.

The budget proposal today would also close $518 million worth of tax exemptions that Democratic budget writers described as “loopholes.” The beneficiaries of such exemptions include banks, out-of-state businesses, private plane owners, gold bullion dealers and buyers of fertilizer.

One proposed tax change would raise the cost of buying cars for consumers who trade in their old vehicles, by eliminating the

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