We often write about deadlines in the Washington State Legislature. The self-imposed cutoffs are created to narrow down the number of issues as the session progresses and help the Legislature adjourn on time.
In the final weeks of session, only budgets, bills needed to implement those budgets and bills that have passed both house but in different forms (so-called bills in dispute) are alive.
But we all know that when they say a bill is “dead” we should always add “unless it’s not.”
Take House Bill 1997 as a case study. The bill would keep in place a handful of taxes that were created in 1995 to build Safeco Field. Under the original bill, all taxes are to expire the moment the stadium bonds are paid off and that will happen sometime this summer.
A coalition of arts backers, low-income housing advocates, International District residents and Seattle Convention Center supporters – all under the leadership of King County Executive Dow Constantine – have pushed HB 1997 to use the taxes collected in King County for new projects.
These are pretty powerful interests in Seattle – a lot of wealthy people are arts patrons and both the business community and labor are behind the convention center expansion. Yet there is push back from others who say the bill breaks a Read more »