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Eye On Olympia

Mon., April 14, 2003, 6:29 p.m.

Midnight oil, please…

The Senate was working into the night Monday, breaking for a quick dinner and then heading back to the Senate floor at 7:30 p.m.
Most of the late afternoon was dominated by arguments over tax breaks. Republicans successfully renewed several tax breaks, including measures for call centers and high-tech business.
Democrats tried to shrink the tax breaks or tack on requirements that companies reveal the number and pay of any resulting jobs.
A particular target: a high-tech R&D tax break that's three times higher than the tax rate on most high-tech firms. It's comparable to someone claiming a $900 tax exemption for spending $300 on childcare, said Sen. Lisa Brown, D-Spokane. She and other Democrats wanted to shrink the tax break down to actual R&D costs.
Sen. Luke Esser defended the break, however, saying that such breaks help an industry that provides good jobs and clean industry.
"Let's remember that we are in a keenly competitive environment," said Esser, a Bellevue Republican.

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