Eye On Olympia

Marijuana, trees, mystery taxes and a state budget problem that’s among the nation’s worst…

Much going on today. In the meantime, here's some lunchtime reading:

-Effin' Unsound parses last week's discusson of a marijuana bill in the Senate Judiciary Committee, calling it "surreal at times."

-Sen. Pam Roach and husband plant two trees for the future: "Jim just bought two walnut trees and planted them. Neither of us will ever eat their fruit because we will be dead by then!"

-Schmudget, a blog from the Washington State Budget and Policy Center, ranks Washington's FY 2009 and 2010 budgets, compared to other states. Result: "among the worst in the nation." The group's Jeff Chapman says that 2009's 8 percent deficit ranks Washington 13th worst. The year after, that mushrooms into a 23 percent deficit, which -- just behind disasters like California, Arizona and Nevada -- would be fifth worst.

-Austin Jenkins at Crosscut is frustrated that lawmakers clearly are thinking about tax increases and yet won't say anything about specifics.Writes Jenkins:

"...For now Democrats are waiting to have a frank, public conversation with voters about specifically what's on the chopping block and what taxes might be proposed."

-Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown, on her blog, says she's telling the truth when she says "I don't know." From Brown:

"I have not begun discussions with either senators or my House counterparts about these options yet, preferring to wait until there is more consensus among legislators that we need to go there. Since we are planning to take any revenue options to the public to vote on, it is safe to say that nothing is going to be imposed on people or businesses in the middle of the night and there will be ample opportunity for public debate."

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