This post has been updated with the letter that WSAC sent to the House of Representatives on March 29, 2017, regarding the budget and reiterating the main points made during Josh Weiss’s testimony at the House Appropriations Committee hearing on March 27, 2017.
Olympia – Today the House Democrats released their proposed spending plan for the 2017-2019 biennium. WSAC staff is still working through the details [Updated: the budget analysis can be found here]. While there are some areas of concern, such as capping marijuana distributions and WDFW PILT payments at current levels, this proposal has a lot for counties to like.
First, the budget assumes passage of HB 1764, the bill that would replace the 1% property tax cap with a new cap that tracks inflation and population growth.
The budget also provides resources to implement the public records reforms we’ve been seeking. In addition, the House provides $40 million dollars for Foundational Public Health Services. We would have liked more resources for trial court indigent defense, but many of the cuts seen in the Senate budget are not included in the House budget. The House budget is predicated on raising $3 billion in new revenue from a capital gains tax, B&O tax changes, REET tax changes, and new internet sales taxes as found in HB 2186.