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Tag: Ross Hunter

June
5th

UPDATE – House Maj. Leader Sullivan says Democrats’ new budget offer goes ‘more than half way’ to meet Senate GOP

In a bid to break their budget logjam with the Republican Senate, House Democrats put a new budget offer on the table Wednesday that sharply reduces their previous spending targets and tax-hike plans. The new bill, an amendment to House Bill 1057, cuts $790 million in spending from the Democrats’ original plans and jettisons $800 million in new tax revenues previously sought.

A Republican-led coalition that runs the Senate immediately threw cold water on the plan, claiming Democrats were failing to pay for children’s education first.

The Legislature’s 30-day special session runs out next

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April
24th

Budget battle is joined as House passes $905M tax plan with bare minimum 50 votes; 5 Democrats vote no

Majority Democrats used their superior numbers in the state House to muscle through a $905 million tax package aimed at funding education today on a 50-to-47 vote.  Five Democrats – Reps. Kathy Haigh of Shelton, Chris Hurst of Enumclaw, Dawn Morrell of Puyallup, Larry Seaquist of Gig Harbor and Monica Stonier of Vancouver – crossed over to join Republicans who united against it.

Mike Baker of the Associated Press has this story on the floor action: OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Democrats in the Washington state House moved ahead Wednesday with a plan that would increase tax revenue by

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April
12th

House approves $34.5B budget on 54-to-43 vote

The House budget battle with the state Senate is joined. By a 54-to-43 vote, House Democrats pushed through a $34.5 billion budget bill to fund Washington state government operations for 2013-15 on Friday. It  spends $1.3 billion more than what the Republican-steered Senate passed on a bipartisan vote one week ago.

The House plan also requires  $1.3 billion in new revenues. Only one Democrat, freshman Rep. Monica Stonier of Vancouver, crossed over to join Republicans, all of whom voted no.

Rachel LaCorte of The Associated Press has the story here:

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The state House

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April
10th

UPDATE – House Democrats budget proposal puts $1.9 billion extra into K-12; also raises $1.3 billion in new revenues

A lot of the attention in the House Democrats’ budget plan being unveiled during lunch today will be on the $1.34 billion in new revenues – including closed tax exemptions for oil refineries, bottled water, insurance agents, and out-of-state purchases of everything except cars.

The Democrats’ $34.5 billion budget, which House Appropriations chairman Ross Hunter has said he would not unveil if he didn’t have at least 50 votes to pass it, also spends at least $1.3 billion more than the Senate’s $33.2 billion spending plan that passed on a bipartisan vote of 30-to-18 Friday evening. An Appropriations hearing begins at

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April
6th

Key Democrats voted for Senate budget to avoid gridlock, set up House negotiation on revenue

In the end, 30 lawmakers in the divided Washington state Senate agreed on a budget Friday night that sent many messages and served one purpose above all others.

It got the Senate out of possible gridlock – even while some Republicans had qualms about the state’s growing reliance on federal health-care money to serve the poor and most Democrats voting in favor had criticisms about cutting aid to the poor, too.

“This is the new way of doing things,’’ Sen. Andy Hill, the Redmond Republican and leading budget author whose floor speech touched on the two-party effort to write the

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March
11th

GOP Sen. Dammeier says $1B for schools is under consideration

Lawmakers have been reluctant to say too precisely how much money they’ll put toward K-12 public schools to answer a Supreme Court ruling that found the state is failing to meet its constitutional obligations. But in a Sunday forum drawing education leaders in Olympia, Republican Sen. Bruce Dammeier of Puyallup said his caucus will be proposing a “significant” investment in the “billionish range,” according to this blog post by Jerry Cornfield of the Everett Herald.

Cornfield went on to write:

Sitting alongside Dammeier in the panel, Rep. Ross Hunter, D-Medina, said he’d like to see lawmakers

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Feb.
10th

State IT needs piling up; requests could top $400M

My Sunday report about the rent coming due on the State Data Center is only the latest installment in a long-running story. But the request that lawmakers approve a $25.1 million subsidy to cover least payments on the $255 million project is just a fraction of the information technology requests going to lawmakers this year.

In recent testimony before House and Senate budget committees, the state’s new chief information officer Michael Cockrill presented an overview suggesting there are close to $400 million in new spending requests for IT. Projects on the list are

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