Posts tagged: budget protests
OLYMPIA —A group of about 80 people marched from the north side of the Capitol to the space between the House and Senate office buildings at lunchtime, calling for a “moral budget” that raises taxes rather than cutting programs.
Among them were a group clad in orange road-worker vests who had walked some 50 miles to Olympia over the weekend to emphasize they were serious in their efforts. As protests go this legislative session, it was one of the smaller ones. But the orange vests added a splash of color.
In other tax-raising news, Sen. Paull Shin, D-Seattle, sent an “open letter” to Washington residents explaining that he introduced a bill to increase the sales tax because it was the only way, absent a full-scale tax system overhaul, to raise money that would save programs.
The Senate is scheduled to begin voting on its version of an “all-cuts” budget this afternoon. Leaders of both parties were predicting bipartisan support in the end, although there may be a stack of amendments first.
Ping-ponging between the sobering budget hearings and the raucus budget protests of the past week has left me with a desire to get the legislators and demonstrators to the negotiating table to broker a deal.
Not on the budget. I’m not smart enough to do that, and the session has yet to prove that anyone is. No, I’d like to broker a deal that each side would give up a phrase that got particularly tiresome as the week went on….
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OLYMPIA – Some 7,000 protesters chanting, singing and marching through the Capitol to the strains of bagpipes were unable to convince the Legislature to veer from the path from an “all-cuts” budget Friday.
A proposal to close most of the projected $5.1 billion gap in the state’s 2011-13 operating budget with cuts to programs moved to the floor of the House of Representatives in the mid-afternoon while some demonstrators were still packing up from one of the biggest rallies at the Capitol in years.
And that proposal comes from House Democrats, a group that is normally the most closely aligned with organized labor. House Republicans, who have an alternative budget with about $500 million more in cuts, did not try to swap their spending plan for the Democrats’ proposal when amendments were adopted.
The House can’t vote on the budget until Saturday because of rules that require it to be available to the public – “lay on the bar” in legislative terms – for 24 hours.
But neither proposal has the thing protesters demanded during the rally and throughout the week: An end to some of the state’s many tax exemptions for various businesses or industries. The protesters prefer the term loopholes.
The crowd, estimated by the Washington State Patrol as about 7,000, filled the steps of the Capitol, the Temple of Justice to the north, and the green spaces in between…
See photos below
OLYMPIA — Sean Dannon, a union organizer from Tacoma, dresses in a costume he thinks represents most legislators on the issue of eliminating tax breaks on businesses.
OLYMPIA — Sen. Lisa Brown discusses the difficulty of passing any tax exemptions this year with protester Debbie Sills of Yakima.
OLYMPIA — A few minutes after 13 demonstrators were arrested and taken to another part of the Capitol, state troopers formed a line outside the governor's office.