background_fid.jpg
Regional Public Journalism
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
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

052112AJ_TeacherPay.jpg

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

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