The state Legislature recently passed a $43.7 billion two-year budget just hours before a government shutdown.
Negotiated in secret, the budget was unveiled the same day lawmakers had to vote in order to avert a government shutdown. The result was no public hearings and not enough time for lawmakers to read the 600-plus-page bill.
To pay for court-ordered public school funding, the budget pact slaps big property tax increases on the Seattle area, while cutting the same tax in other parts of the state. It also packed in an 11th-hour tax cut for manufacturing businesses that some are urging Gov. Jay Inslee to veto. But because of the haste with which it was passed, legislators and budget analysts are still trying to figure out the precise impacts.
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On Episode 44 of The Overcast, the Seattle Times’ weekly politics podcast, we are joined by Olympia correspondent Joseph O’Sullivan, who worked into the wee hours covering the late-night budget drama.
This episode was recorded in the studios of 88.5 FM KNKX, with the deft help of reporter Simone Alicea, as part of an ongoing partnership. (Listen for excerpts on the station Friday.)
Topics covered include:
• In this supposedly blue state, did Seattle lawmakers and Democrats get rolled by Republican leaders from Centralia and Ritzville?
• Why do we still not know how the property tax increases will hit all homeowners?
• How is the secrecy around budget talks even legal?
• After all the drama, will this spending plan satisfy the state Supreme Court’s McCleary decision demanding ample funding of public schools?
Send us your feedback and your ideas for future topics. Leave a comment on this post, tweet at us (@Jim_Brunner and @DBeekman), email firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a voicemail at 206-464-8778.