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Government and Politics
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."

Inslee Says $1.4 Billion Tax Package No Longer Needed

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One day after the state got a favorable revenue forecast, Washington Governor Jay Inslee said he no longer believes the $1.4 billion tax package he proposed in December is necessary.

Inslee previously said an “all cuts” budget would be “devastating.”

“That’s why my budget calls for additional revenue of about $1.4 billion during the next biennium,” Inslee said in December.

But times have changed.

“We’ve got quite a bit of string of good fortune here,” the governor said Tuesday.

Inslee said since December the state’s financial picture has gotten rosier. And that if he’d known then what he knows now, “We would not have required to propose so much revenue because we would have been able to satisfy the needs of our citizens.”

So how big a tax package is Inslee proposing now?

“I don’t have a clear number for you,” he said.

But Inslee said he still believes “some” taxes will be needed. Republicans quickly shot down that idea.

Inslee said if lawmakers can’t agree on a budget by the end of next week, he’ll immediately call them back into a second special session.