Walla Walla Union-Bulletin assesses Senate budget … and finds much to like

With a Senate vote imminent, the editorial board of the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin takes a close look at majority coalition caucus’s budget plan and concludes, 

The Senate plan is a solid foundation on which to move the process forward. The debate, followed by reconciliation, is at hand.

The Legislature, it seems, is finally moving forward with a real plan to fully fund basic education as the state Supreme Court has mandated.

The editorial begins by saying,

The Republican-led state Senate’s two-year state budget proposal appears to take a reasoned approach to fully funding basic public education without unleashing a torrent of new taxes. 

The $43 billion 2017-19 budget plan adds $1.8 billion toward K-12 education, which would come from projected growth in current tax revenue and spending cuts in other state programs. 

The writers acknowledge the levy swap with a parochial comment:

So, from our rural Eastern Washington perspective, this tax shift feels equitable. It taxes those who can most afford to pay it while ensuring that every school in the state has the funds to pay for basic education costs, including teachers’ salaries.

Lawmakers are far from finished, and we share the U-B’s hope that reconciliation is at hand.

Meanwhile, in the Seattle Times, editorial columnist Donna Gordon Blankinship explains what she likes and doesn’t like about the funding plans currently on offer.