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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."

Washington Senate Includes Nearly Two Dozen Tax Breaks In Budget Plan

File photo of the Washington State Capitol Building

The Washington Senate is proposing the creation or extension of nearly two dozen tax breaks -- mostly for businesses.

Governor Jay Inslee supports the largest of those tax incentives. But overall the Senate package unveiled Monday runs counter to the Democratic governor’s push to eliminate several tax exemptions to pay for education.

These tax incentives are included in a proposed update to Washington’s two-year budget. Beekeepers, companies that hire unemployed veterans and data server farms would all benefit. So would alcohol resellers, log haulers, and technology and energy companies.

“We have a modest amount of tax preferences," says Washington Senate budget committee chair Andy Hill, a Republican. "Most of them are extending existing ones -- and again it’s focused on job creation.”

Hill was joined by Democrats in the bipartisan budget unveiling. The value of the tax breaks is calculated at $10 million in the current two-year budget. But that balloons to nearly $85 million in the next budget cycle.

The proposed Senate budget would put more money into public school technology, mental health and protect the social safety net.

The Washington House will unveil its budget proposal next. Then the two chambers will work to reconcile their differences.

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."