Spin Control

No Senate vote yet on estate tax 'fix'

OLYMPIA -- The Senate remains "at ease" while leader discuss a possible "fix" to a problem with the estate tax.

The House passed the bill late this morning, in what was described in that chamber as an agreement over language worked out between the two different versions each chamber passed to address what's known as the Supreme Court's Bracken decision.

But one Senate source says that while there is an agreement on the language, there is not yet an agreement by the Majority Coalition Caucus to vote on the bill -- a distinction that could make a big difference because the clock is ticking toward Friday morning when the state will have to start sending out refunds.

Before agreeing to vote on the bill, some members of that caucus could also seek a vote on one or more of their reform bills, to change state policy on schools, budget increases or the workers compensation system.

Those discussion continue, so the Senate remains "at ease" and legislators and staff have been told to prepare for a long night.

One of the rules of demanding a ransom is you must first know what ransom you want to demand.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this post said the Senate was expected to vote on the bill today, and that there was an agreement to take the vote, based on conversations with legislators. A spokesman for the Majority Coalition Caucus says, however, that there was never an agreement to vote, only an agreement on the language that would be in the bill if it came to a vote, and a vote was never scheduled.

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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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