Spin Control

Baumgartner No. 2 on budget panel

OLYMPIA -- Sen. Mike Baumgartner would serve as vice chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee next year under the proposed "coalition" majority in that chamber.

The Spokane Republican, who is halfway through his first term, said he thinks the coalition of the Senate's 23 Republicans and two Democrats which was announced earlier this week will lead to greater consensus and a better budget.

"One of my main goals in the Senate has always been to reform state government: make it leaner, more efficient, less costly and more service-oriented," he said in a prepared statement.

As vice chairman, he will be helping with the development of the operating budget, the spending plan for most state services, programs and salaries. In recent years, the Senate Ways and Means vice chairman is focuses on the capital budget, which deals with construction projects, but that job under the planned coalition majority will fall to Sen. Jim Honeyford, R-Sunnyside.




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Jim Camden
Jim Camden is the Olympia bureau chief, covering the Legislature and state government. He also is a political columnist and blogger for Spin Control.

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