Sunday, December 12, 2010

"State lawmakers skip drama, cut budget by millions"

Andrew Garber (Seattle Times):
Departing Sen. Eric Oemig, D-Kirkland, voted against the reductions, arguing lawmakers should look to eliminate certain tax loopholes and giveaways to raise more money. Oemig lost to a Republican in the November election.

"Today, what this bill does, it's going to cut welfare for kids, for families," he said during the debate. "It's going to cut school funding. And it's not asking anyone else to sacrifice. That's just not right."
"This is probably the easiest of all the decisions we're going to have to make as we move into January," said Sen. Joe Zarelli, R-Ridgefield, the ranking Republican on the Senate Ways and Means Committee. Zarelli voted for the cuts.

That's what has health-care, social-service and education advocates worried.

"There's a real fear out there that this is just the tip of the iceberg," said Sandeep Kaushik, a spokesman for a coalition of health-care and social-service advocates.

"The Legislature needs to take a balanced approach to this unprecedented situation," he said. "What I'm suggesting is that they also take a look at reforming tax exemptions and closing some of these worst tax exemptions." MORE...

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