State House passes budget with more education money
The Washington State House of Representatives unveiled its budget last week and passed it with a 54-43 vote.
The House budget pencils in $1.3 billion in new revenues as the first volley in meeting the requirements of fully funding education — as set forth in last year's Supreme Court case, McCleary vs. State of Washington.
The vote was divided along party lines. The lone dissenting Democrat was State Rep. Monica Stonier of Vancouver.
The House budget is similar to the one released by Gov. Jay Inslee in recent weeks, and uses much of the same plan to raise the needed money for education funding.
Most notably, the House budget coincides with Inslee's plan in extending taxes on some businesses and a .50-cent beer tax, which is projected would raise $600 million. Also like Inslee's plan, the House budget looks to close or tighten up perceived tax "loopholes" and similar exemptions. Among those would be preferential tax rates for insurance and travel agents, to nixing the sales tax exemptions on things like bottled water.