Two new proposals for the budget, emerging from the Democratic-led House and Republican-led Senate, start with broadly similar themes and worthwhile priorities. Commonality should breed negotiation, and that should help Olympia avoid the marathon overtime sessions that plagued recent budget negotiations.
In particular, both chambers agree broadly on education funding. Stopping short of an endorsement, the Times editors find the House capital gains tax “provocative.”
The Yakima Herald-Republic editorial board likewise finds room for optimism as they consider on-time adjournment.
We prefer the Senate’s approach to keeping a lid on taxes, especially in light of the almost $3 billion in forecast revenue growth. Implementation of a volatile capital-gains tax and a controversial carbon tax are better left to an overall debate over reforming Washington’s tax system.
But all in all, the budgets head in the same direction; the differences lie in the preferred route to a final destination. Across the board, there is plenty of room for the give-and-take that will lead to a compromise that suits both sides. Can the legislators get their work done on time this year? It appears that they can.
The Everett Herald appears to be an editorial outlier when it comes to tax increases, though the Olympian would insist that the Senate follow the House lead and fund the collective bargaining agreement.
Regardless, it’s true that a Venn diagram of the two budgets would show considerable overlap. Optimism is justified.