Friday, April 29, 2011

Legislature Special Session, my guess

The Special Session rewinds the clock on a couple bills I am watching.

The first bill is the state budget HB 1087. This is pretty much how the state will be for the next two years.

The second bill is a King County stimulus bill, HB 1997. It is dressed up as the Arts bill, the Convention Center bill, what it is at its most basic element is a stimulus bill.

Both bills were returned to the House Rules Committee by Special Session Resolution. My guess is that the House passes its version again, passes HB 1997 again and the Senate amends them both on the Senate floor, they go back to the House for concurrence.

I would rather have HB 1997 give up $100,000 to the affordable housing fund, and $100,000 to the state arts and heritage fund, both drawn from the state tax credit on the car rental tax.

I would prefer that HB 1997 were simplified so that over the next decade King County had the flexibility to determine for itself what tourism related infrastructure investments to make, and not have their hands tied by some state representative from sone other part of the state that really doesn't give a ratsass what happens in King County beyond just wanting to milk its residents and businesses for state tax revenue to be spread around the state.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yeah! What you said.

Anonymous said...

McGinn is trying stymie Bellevue's efforts to get an arena built. I'm sure his buddy "the Chopper" will helpful in this effort. What a couple of jerks.

Peter said...

well, according to what the king 5 daniels report and br have said, there are active arena efforts in both seattle and bellevue.the article also says that seattle and bellevue are competing for a team. with mcginn saying he wont use public funds, one could assume that the seattle effort is privately funded. i just hope the seattle effort isn't renovating the key.

Mr Baker said...

Don't assume.
Here are three factors to keep in mind:
The legislation as-is would grant the County the authority, not the City.
The legislation could change again (if it is going to pass the Senate).
The legislation might not pass, passing the authority of the hotel tax to the cities after bonds have been paid off (Bellevue could, in this case, do darn neear whatever they want).

In all cases, the Mayor of Seattle does not have the final say. The last is up to the cities. The first two are up to the County, and then to the city executive AND council. Maybe the council chooses a different path, one that the County may or may not like.

Also, the first two do involve Frank Chopp, if he wants money for Affordable Housing then he has to make an effort here, I expect he will.

Anonymous said...

Well if the cities get the authority over those taxes after the bonds are paid off that could be a good thing, right? Theoretically then Seattle or Bellevue could vie for utilizing said funds for building an arena. Bearing in mind Seattle's record for not exactly being pro-active on that front of course.

Mr Baker said...

It could be a good thing, it could be more sculpture parks, or an arena.
The Senate, as well as Ross Hunter (according to his testimony on the House Floor) would prefer to have the County have control AND more freedom to make the investments. I prefer this as well.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you to a point, but if Hasegawa's amendment remains the County's hands are still tied to how the money would be spent. Would that stipulation be limited to cities as well?

Mr Baker said...

Yes, it applies to the county, and the county would control the tax revenue and not the cities. So, no new sports stadium. I don't expect the bill to stay like that, though. That stuff was needed to get the bill out of the House Ways & Means Committee.
Do know that overly prescribing what the county can do is one of the things that bothers the Senate.
Go look as SB 5834 for an idea of what can pass in the Senate.
http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary.aspx?bill=5834&year=2011

There is nothing like the Hasegawa amendment in it.

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