Opinion

Legislators have tough budget decisions to make as session begins | Editorial

The 2013 legislative bell will ring on Monday as local legislators take the ring in Olympia to tackle a tough $900 million budget shortfall.

That figure doesn’t include the additional $1 billion in spending required under the McCleary ruling that determined the state was not meeting its constitutional obligation to pay for basic education.

It’s going to be a difficult fight and, some legislators say, may be impossible.

Six legislators across two districts will represent Redmond.

Those legislators include 48th District Reps. Ross Hunter (D), Cyrus Habib (D) and Sen. Rodney Tom (D); 45th District Reps. Roger Goodman (D), Larry Springer (D) and Sen. Andy Hill (R).

Several of these officials will head various legislative committees.

In the House of Representatives, Hunter will lead the House budget writers, serving as chair of the Appropriations Committee that considers the state operating budget bill.

In addition, Goodman will chair the House Public Safety Committee and Springer will serve as the deputy majority floor leader for Jobs & Economic Development.

In the state Senate, Hill will chair the Senate Ways and Means Committee.

Tom will serve as chair of the Higher Education & Workforce Development Committee. He will also serve as the majority leader for the new and controversial bipartisan Senate coalition. The Majority Coalition Caucus will have six Democrat-led committees and six Republican-led committees that have no more than a one-vote majority.

As always, the Reporter will continue to keep readers informed of legislative issues that affect Redmond residents.

We will cover legislative forums that occur in Redmond, and for the third year in a row we also have a team of interns on the Capitol campus that will provide coverage for you through the WNPA Olympia News Bureau. These eight University of Washington interns account for more than half of the Olympia-based press corps.

We look forward to providing legislative coverage and we welcome your questions and comments about what is happening in Olympia to: letters@redmond-reporter.com.

— Reporter Newspapers

 

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