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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Olympia


Setting up a facedown with the state Senate, Democrats in the state House of Representatives narrowly passed a budget late Saturday night that includes more than $270 million in new taxes and revenue.
``I stand with a caucus who dares to care,’’ said Rep. Dawn Morrell, D-Puyallup.
Republicans spent hours fighting the proposal, arguing that the taxes, touted as being for kids and schools, will mainly pay for raises and benefits for public employees.
``I find this entire package totally disgusting,’’ said Rep. Jack Cairnes, R-Kent.
The plan now heads to the Senate, where Republican leaders said they’re sticking by their no-new-taxes version. It passed weeks ago while Democrats struggled to win enough votes for taxes.
``The fight begins,’’ said Sen. Larry Sheahan, R-Spokane. ``We feel very strongly about this.’’
The gulf between the two proposals is relatively small – $22.8 billion in the Senate versus $23.2 billion in the House – but there’s a much greater philosophical divide between how the money’s spent.
In the House, Democrats say their taxes are critical to protect programs for children.
In the Senate, Republicans say taxes would cripple the economy.

Short takes and breaking news from the Washington Legislature and the state capital.