Washington Governor Wants DUI, Gun Bills Plus Budget

By Austin Jenkins

A nearly $1B tax vote in the Washington House Wednesday clears the way for budget negotiations to begin in earnest at the Capitol. Even so an overtime session still appears likely.

Governor Jay Inslee is like the gambler. He says it would take an “inside straight” for the legislature to complete its work by Sunday’s deadline. At a news conference the Democrat said there’s much work to be done. Inslee’s own must-have list is long. A two-year operating budget that puts new money into schools, a multi-billion dollar transportation package, a crackdown on drunk drivers, the so-called Reproductive Parity Act and college grants for children of non-citizens.

Jay Inslee: “And I believe it’s my responsibility to do everything humanely possible to get action on all of these fronts this year.”

Mark Schoesler is the Senate Republican leader. He says there are some non-budget measures his side would like too. But …

Mark Schoesler: “Our work now is to pass a budget for the people of the state of Washington that is sustainable for four years.”

The mostly Republican Senate majority maintains that can be done without taxes. House Democrats and Governor Inslee disagree. That fight alone is likely to send the legislature into overtime.

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