A leaner capital gains tax, a second GOP budget and a $5 fine

Here’s what’s happening on Day 38 of the 2021 session of the Washington Legislature.

NO CAPTION NECESSARY: Logo for the Cornfield Report by Jerry Cornfield. 20200112

2021 Washington Legislature, Day 38 of 105

Everett Herald political reporter Jerry Cornfield: jcornfield@heraldnet.com | @dospueblos

Want this in your inbox Monday-Wednesday-Friday? Subscribe here.

OLYMPIA, Feb. 17, 2021 — Good morning.

We’ve made it a third of the way through session.

Senate Democrats are once again whittling away at Gov. Jay Inslee’s agenda. In recent days, they halved his proposed tax to fund public health. They are allowing the continued use of credit scores to set insurance rates — although only to lower them, not raise them — a practice he wanted to end.

And Tuesday, they overhauled his signature capital gains tax proposal to make it apply to fewer people and bring in less money. Inslee said he had not seen it and could not comment.

House Speaker Laurie Jinkins of Tacoma sounded like her caucus could live with the changes if and when it comes over.

“Capital gains is something we’ve wanted a long time. I actually think we may very well be OK with it,” she told reporters. “I’m also confident the courts will uphold it.”

Money matters

House Republicans hauled out a detailed blueprint for a new two-year budget Tuesday, days after their Senate counterparts put forth their approach for spending.

Rep. Drew Stokesbary of Auburn, lead writer of the House offering, said it contained no new taxes and no cuts to critical services. It is a deep dive. Among its interesting pieces are funding for a working families tax credit, money for schools to resume in-person learning, a sales tax exemption for diapers, a merging of state pension plans and several billion dollars in reduced agency spending.

Stokesbary said it is intended to be more than a conversation starter, noting he came to Olympia “to make better laws, not just better suggestions.”

Majority Democrats in the House and Senate are keeping their powder dry. They will put out budgets following a March revenue forecast.

Writing them will be “more complicated in a welcome way” if, as expected, the state receives another injection of federal COVID relief from Congress. Democratic budget writers would do all they can to meld the funds into the broader spending approach, Jinkins said.

But if federal dollars arrive too late in session, she said, they could pass a budget and “call ourselves back into special session” later to make decisions on how to distribute the money. Republicans will certainly be asking if it comes to that.

Prepare to pay

Democratic Lt. Gov. Denny Heck is president of the Senate, but on occasion he’s referred to the chamber as the House. It’s not a surprising slip of the tongue given that he spent the prior decade in the U.S. House of Representatives.

He told senators Tuesday he’s been made “painfully aware” of the verbal miscue. He announced he’ll put $5 in a jar for each mess-up going forward. And any senator who makes the same mistake can plan on paying up, too. At the end of session, Heck said, all the money in the jar will go to charity.

“Let’s hope we can make a difference in people’s lives based on your mistakes, not mine,” he said.

To subscribe to the Cornfield Report, go to www.heraldnet.com/newsletters. | Previous Cornfield Reports here.

 

News clippings

Compiled by: House Democrats | House Republicans

 

On TV

Non-profit TVW covers state government in Olympia and selected events statewide. Programs are available for replay on the internet, and the channel is widely available on Washington cable systems.

TVW schedule | Current and recent video | Archives | Shows

 

Links

Contact your legislator | District lookup | Bill lookup

Legislature home | House | Senate

Caucuses: House Democrats | House Republicans | Senate Democrats | Senate Republicans

Office of the Governor

Laws and agency rules

Beat reporters: Jerry Cornfield (Herald) | Rachel La Corte (AP) | Joseph O’Sullivan (Times) | Jim Brunner (Times) | Austin Jenkins (NW News Network) | Melissa Santos (Crosscut) | Sara Gentzler (McClatchy) | Jim Camden (Spokesman-Review)

Talk to us

More in Local News

Michael Jensen, left, and Nathan Jensen, right, pick up trash in their encampment that they being forced to clear out of by Parks Department the near Silver Lake on Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Annual homeless count could shed light on pandemic’s impact

Snohomish County canceled its 2021 point-in-time count. Officials hope this year’s will bring clarity.

Section of a tsunami high ground map. (Island County)
Tsunami warning fizzled, but future threat to Whidbey is real

State and county officials have long warned about the possibility of a tsunami striking the island.

Judge: Sex abuse of former Marysville student violated law

A woman sued the district last year, accusing a longtime art teacher of sexual abuse in the 1980s.

Darrell Cain, Pierce College Puyallup president and incoming Everett Community College interim president
Pierce College Puyallup president picked to lead EvCC for now

Everett Community College’s board chose Darrell Cain as its interim president.

Christian Sayre (Washington County Sheriff's Office)
$1 million bail for Everett bar owner charged with rapes

Christian Sayre, 35, owner of The Anchor Pub, was charged last week with 10 counts of felony sex crimes.

NO CAPTION NECESSARY: Logo for the Cornfield Report by Jerry Cornfield. 20200112
Democrats ready to ditch the other ‘grand bargain’ of 2021

Here’s what’s happening on Day 10 of the 2022 session of the Washington Legislature.

Photo by Emily Gilbert/Whidbey News-Times
Jonathan Kline said a museum would be coming in to take most of the pews from the former Jehovah's Witness church on Morris Road outside Coupeville. The Whidbey Homeless Coalition wants to turn the building into an overnight shelter.
Appeal filed against homeless shelter project near Coupeville

More than 300 neighbors signed a letter saying the location isn’t an appropriate place for the shelter.

Snohomish County Jail. (Sue Misao / Herald file)
As omicron surges, frustrations and challenges mount in correction facilities

More than 10% of those in state prisons are infected. “We’re kind of in this Twilight Zone cycle,” one prisoner said.

The entrance to the new free COVID vaccination site at the Everett Mall on Monday, Jan. 17, 2022. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Free mass-vaccination site opens Tuesday at Everett Mall

Hundreds of appointments are up for grabs at the state-run site, which will offer initial doses, boosters and pediatric shots.

Most Read