Today we're discussing the differences between the state House and state Senate budget plans in the Washington Legislature. We've got a handy new Policy Brief with a bar graph and chart comparing the two. With a scheduled April 23 adjournment date looming, and the House proposing $1.5 Billion more in tax revenues than the Senate, it seems unlikely lawmakers will complete their business in the regular session; a "special" session appears likely.
Here are some highlights:
We're delighted to welcome state Rep. Drew Stokesbary (R-Auburn) to the podcast. As soon as we saw all the "Arrested Development" gifs populating his Twitter feed we knew he'd be the perfect guest. We sat down at the state Capitol in Olympia to chat about him being a younger member of the Legislature, how he got into politics and government, and his approach to working across the aisle. Other random topics of discussion: Kim Jon Un and Dick Cheney. Plus, Drew fits in a reference to "The Office" and we totally miss it.
We're pleased to welcome state Rep. Brian Blake (D-Aberdeen), who took time out of his busy schedule during the legislative session in Olympia to join our podcast. Rep. Blake represents the 19th Legislative District on Washington's southwest coast, a district whose counties have traditionally voted Democratic in presidential elections but last year largely went for Donald Trump.
In today's podcast we do a deep dive into Gov. Jay Inslee's 2017-19 state budget proposal, the subject of our latest Special Report which you can read here.
The governor's budget plan includes $4.762 billion in new spending and $4.369 billion in new and increased taxes, including a new carbon tax and a new capital gains tax.
The state Legislature begins its 2017 session today. This being an odd-numbered year, session is scheduled to last 105 days, with an April 23 adjournment date. Almost nobody believes lawmakers will finish their business by then, however, in which case the governor can call a special session (or a series of special sessions as the case may be).
Big issues on tap for this year include:
Our last podcast of the year is in a pub, with special guest David Postman, Gov. Jay Inslee's chief of staff. We sit down over beers (and a Coke for Postman, who's on cold meds) at the delightful Hopvine Pub in Seattle to chat about Postman's career in journalism and now government, as well as what's in store for the upcoming legislative session.
On Sept. 20, the state House Local Government Committee held a work session in Olympia to review the Growth Management Act, Washington's comprehensive land-use planning law which has been in effect for 25 years. It was part of a larger effort by the committee to consider changes to the law.
At this meeting, the topics of discussion were: 1) The pros and cons of the GMA, and 2) What works and what doesn't.
As chair of the House Public Safety Committee, state Rep. Roger Goodman (D-Kirkland), has taken a collaborative approach to lawmaking, bringing people to the table to write legislation on a variety of issues including impaired driving and domestic violence. In this episode we explore his process which emphasizes problem-solving over partisanship.