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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 House Democrats Move Ahead With Budget Plan

Colin Fogarty
Northwest News Network files

Washington House Democrats are moving forward with a plan to eliminate several tax exemptions, but they don’t yet have buy-in from Senate Republicans.

The push by Democrats is part of an effort to force a deal with Republicans on a two-year operating budget. If that doesn’t work, Democrats have introduced an alternative no-new-taxes budget.

They’re actually taking a page from the governor’s playbook. They’re now doing what the governor did in his budget back in December which is a proposed base budget that does not involve any new taxes. Democrats say it would get the state get through the next two years, but would not fully fund the things that they believe they want and that they believe Republicans want.

Among the tax breaks Democrats propose to close: are the sales tax exemption that Oregon residents enjoy when they shop in Washington and the tax break on bottled water. Republicans have said they are potentially open to closing some tax exemptions.

Washington faces a partial government shutdown on July 1 if there’s still no budget.

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."