*****It sure took a while, but legislators in Olympia are wrapping up their business with a little time to spare. The budget will be voted on soon, and the major elements are in place. Here’s what you need to know:
- No big new taxes – no cap-and-trade, no carbon tax, no capital gains income tax
- $1.3 billion in new schools funding to meet the McCleary decision's requirements
- College and university tuition will be reduced, an important priority for Senate Republicans and nearly unprecedented nationally
- The last hurdle to a transportation package, the governor’s hoped-for low-carbon fuel standard, has been cleared. Inslee has agreed to a provision that will prevent him from imposing one by executive order
Sen. Joe Fain of Auburn summed it up this way:
The final budget increases funding for schools by an unprecedented level.We’ve made no secret that the Senate’s education-first, no-new-taxes budget is the approach Smarter Government Washington prefers. Their framework is what this budget deal is built on. Congratulations to everyone who has worked for this moment.
It also includes a massive and nationally unheard of college tuition reduction.
Just as important, due to better prioritization and the benefits of economic growth in Washington, these important achievements were accomplished WITHOUT NEW TAXES.