As state lawmakers head into the final weekend of this year’s legislative session, some key issues still remain to be resolved.
Agreement on a state spending plan for the 2021-23 biennium appears to have been reached by budget writers who have been meeting behind closed doors to iron out differences between House and Senate version. The budget bill, however, will not be made available to lawmakers, nor to the public, until Saturday. House leaders plan to bring it up for debate and vote on the same day, while the Senate will likely debate and vote on it on Sunday, the last day of session.
Both 23rd District Reps. Drew Hansen and Tarrra Simmons of Kitsap County voted with the majority on Senate Bill 5096.
It is an excise tax on gains from the sale or exchange of certain capital assets. Passed the House April 21 by a 52-46 vote.
This bill would impose a 7% percent tax on income derived from the capital gains resulting from the sale of long-term assets. The tax would exempt some assets, such as real estate, and would be levied on income over $250,000 for all taxpayers required to file for the tax. The bill passed the Senate in March 25-24 after an emergency clause that would prevent a referendum vote by the people this fall was removed. The House version says the proposed tax is “necessary for the support of state government and its existing public institutions.” The Senate has refused to agree to the changes, and the bill is in dispute. A conference committee will attempt to work out the differences and bring the bill to a final vote before session ends Sunday.
Hansen and Simmons both voted no on House Concurrent Resolution 4402, Exempting certain bills from legislative cutoff dates. It failed in the House April 16 by a 41-56 vote.
The “8th Order of Business” motion made by minority Republicans to bring back a bill that had not survived an earlier legislative cut-off deadline. The motion aimed to bring HB 1557, a bipartisan measure to limit the governor’s emergency proclamations to 60 days unless an extension is approved by the Legislature. They said this legislature should re-assume its proper role as an equal branch of government, pointing out that Gov. Jay Inslee has governed by executive order for over 400 day. Moreover, under current law, only he will decide when a public emergency is over, they said.
WashingtonVotes.org provides a free, periodic roll call service to media outlets as long as the Legislature is in session.