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Eye On Olympia

Sales tax proposal collapses…

Rep. Eric Pettigrew, D-Seattle, confirms that his plan for a third-of-a-cent sales tax hike to offset deep budget cuts has collapsed. Proponents, including House Speaker Frank Chopp, have been unable to round up enough votes. “We looked at the vote count, and it didn’t look good,” said Pettigrew. How many votes, if he needed 50 to get it passed in the House? “I don’t even know if I got 30,” he said. “I’m very, very disappointed.” Pettigrew drew fire from Republicans for saying that “people will die” if some of the cuts to health care weren’t offset by the sales tax. It would have raised $1.1 billion over three years. “I definitely stand by that comment,” said Pettigrew. “I have no doubt in my mind.”

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Richard Roesler covers Washington state news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Olympia.

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