As the eleventh hour approached Sunday afternoon, it became glaringly obvious that no budget agreement would suddenly materialize and allow us to adjourn the 2013 legislative session on time. After 105 days – despite the Senate’s passage of a budget that puts over a billion dollars into education, balances for four years, reduces tuition at state colleges and universities by three percent, and doesn’t raise any taxes – the House of Representatives refused to back away from its proposal to raise your taxes by about a billion dollars.
Since the House couldn’t get its job done on time, a special session is now required to continue the state’s unfinished business. But the overtime session – which begins on Monday, May 13 – should never have been necessary. When the Senate passed its bipartisan budget proposal by a vote of 30-18 (with the support of nine Democrats) and sent it to the House of Representatives, I was optimistic. However with just over two weeks left in the 15-week session, House budget writers revealed a proposal that would raise taxes on businesses and families in Washington by $1.1 billion in the two-year budget cycle that begins on July 1, with next to none of that revenue going toward basic education.