Posts tagged: Mike Armstrong
OLYMPIA – With all the examples of disharmony in the Legislature, it’s nice to tell a tale of folks with different agendas finding common ground and working together.
Although it doesn’t involve such high-profile issues as taxes or budgets or gay marriage or abortion, there is such a tale with two sides as diametrically opposed as Puget Sound liberals and Eastern Washington conservatives or the state Labor Council and the Building Industry Association of Washington.
The issue involves off-road vehicles, also known as four-wheel all-terrain vehicles or off-highway vehicles. In one corner, we have the people who love to ride them, wherever they can; in the other, we have the people who want them ridden less, in fewer places, with more controls.
Put another way, we have on one side people who believe in their God-given right to enjoy the outdoors and regard their opponents as tree-hugging, whiny busy-bodies. On the other, we have people who believe it’s their life’s mission to protect the environment against loud louts and their fume-spewing machines.
One might expect them to reach a meeting of the minds about as often as Planned Parenthood and the Catholic bishops. . .
To read the rest of this item, or to comment, go inside the blog
OLYMPIA — The House passed a bill that would loan a troubled public facilities district $42 million to avoid default, but only after limiting the way cities and counties involved can raise taxes.
On a 56-33 bipartisan vote, the House passed HB 2145, which would help the Wenatchee Public Facilities District repay investors after it defaulted on short-term bonds on Dec. 1. The money would be paid back to the state over 10 years, starting in 2013, and the cities and counties involved could raise local sales taxes by as much as two-tenths of a percent to cover the loan payments to the state.
But a change just before the bill came to a vote did not sit well with Rep. Mike Armstrong, R-Wenatchee, one of the bill's original sponsors. The original bill said taxes could be raised by a vote of the local legislative body or the voters. The amendment allows a tax increase onlly if voters approve it.
“This takes us down the slope to total bond default,” Armstrong said, and voted no.
The bill's two other sponsors, however, Rep. Cary Condotta, R-East Wenatchee, and Ross Hunter, D-Medina, voted yes.
Officials at the Spokane Public Facilities District say they are watching progress of the Wenatchee PFD bailout closely, because Spokane is scheduled to sell bonds on Dec. 13 in an effort to cut costs by refinancing at a lower interest rate.
The Spokane-area delegation's vote can be found inside the blog.
The bill now goes to the Senate, where Democrats and Republicans are said to be divided over a bailout to the PFD.