Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Special Session in Olympia: $800 Million Dollars, April 6th or 7th

Today, Everett Herald writer Jerry Cornfield reports where the legislature is at on the budget.
Democrats, who hold majorities in both chambers, agree on an amount, $800 million, but not on how to generate all of those dollars.

They're deadlocked on about a quarter of that sum, with the Senate saying it should come from a higher sales tax and the House disagreeing. That chamber is pushing an end to tax breaks for large banks, out-of-state residents and buyers of custom-made software programs.

Yesterday, Kitsap Sun writer Steven Gardner reported on a possible end date to the special session
[State Senator Tim] Sheldon predicted the session will end on April 6 or 7, assuming Gov. Chris Gregoire gets assurances from the federal governmentthat it will commit to health care money that the state can “book” into its budget.

The conspiracy theory would be: they did not know how much help they were going to get from the federal government so they have been running in place for a month while they wait.

So, maybe we will see things start back up in Olympia, and hopefully some bills I have been following will get some action.


Peter said...

so if the athlete taxes are approved for the PFD account, the state won't try to use them later? i know you said earlier that if the PFD dosen't spend the money on stadiums and arenas that someone would sue.

Mr Baker said...

They can't use them, they will be deposited in somebody else's account, in a different bank.
It would be similar to the City of Seattle's general fund. The state, as much as they would like to, can not take from the municiple account.

I doubt there will be an athlete tax this year. My guess is that if a bill like HB 2912 is passed this session (chances are (50-50) that it would not have all of those amendments Rodney Tom piled on. They simply will not clog floor time with all that stuff.
They could revive SB 6051, insert the words they can agree to with a floor striking amendment, and pass that.

I would want to get a running start at a stand alone athlete tax. I think 10% is too high, though most ok.

Peter said...

"I would want to get a running start at a stand alone athlete tax. I think 10% is too high, though most ok."

how much would the tax need to be to fund an brand new arena? would 8 percent do it?

Peter said...

"I would want to get a running start at a stand alone athlete tax."

what do you mean by this?

Peter said...

my worry is that if they just pass the PFD bill this year, and since the PFD bill potentially funds the keyarena redo, the county will take the easy way out and renovate keyarena this year instead of giving it another year to find an funding source for an brand new arena like the athlete taxes. how likely is this scenario?

Mr Baker said...

I think any effort to use any money for KeyArena will invite people to think of other sources of revenue, leading to the popularization of the athlete tax.

I just think it is unlikely that a bill with that amendment has the time in the special session to pass.

Once the pfd is formed I would want to start pushing the athlete tax indea into some people's email boxes and hopefull find a bill sponsor next year.
That is what I mean by that.

Mr Baker said...

"It looks like the special legislative session will be ending soon. Negotiators from the state House and Senate have reached a deal on a tax package to close a $2.8 billion operating budget deficit, according to sources in Olympia.
. . .
It will take several days to draft a bill and run the numbers. Sources don't expect a final vote until the middle of next week."

mmm, yes, that would be around the 6th, or 7th.

So, let's see if the float a few whacky ideas late Friday, or Saturday in the press, take the holiday off, finish writing a giant bill Monday-Tuesday, they give everybody a full day to absorb it, and then they are called back Wednesday or Thursday. That is my guess from the current reports, this could drag on through the end of next week.

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