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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Washington Legislature. Austin Jenkins is the Olympia correspondent for the Northwest News Network. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

Practicality Of 'No New Taxes' Pledge Debated In Olympia

OLYMPIA, Wash. - In Olympia, a new revenue outlook shows a shortfall in the next state budget cycle. That is putting renewed attention on promises not to raise taxes.

Washington's Democratic governor-elect Jay Inslee made such a pledge during the recent campaign. So did many Republicans elected to the Legislature.

The chief budget writer for House Democrats, Ross Hunter, says he's working on a no-new-taxes spending blueprint for the next two years. But Hunter Wednesday predicted the product will include so many unpalatable cuts, he doubts it could pass.

"I personally believe -- and I have been reasonably consistent through this whole cycle leading up to last Tuesday('s election) -- that I didn't think it was numerically possible to have a budget that does not have revenue increases."

Hunter spoke after the release of an updated revenue and budget outlook at the capitol.

At the same event, former Republican candidate for Washington governor Dino Rossi said making Olympia live within its means will be "tremendously important." He contends it can be done.

On the Web:

Washington Economic and Revenue Forecast Council

Now semi-retired, Tom Banse covered national news, business, science, public policy, Olympic sports and human interest stories from across the Northwest. He reported from well known and out–of–the–way places in the region where important, amusing, touching, or outrageous events unfolded. Tom's stories can be found online and were heard on-air during "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered" on NPR stations in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.