Curiouser and curiouser

`Curiouser and curiouser!’ cried Alice (she was so much surprised, that for the moment she quite forgot how to speak good English)

What an interesting week. Among the most curious was the electronic transfer to CWU paying the principle and interest on the now infamous Wenatchee bonds. It was not clear at first whether the transfer was accidental–perhaps a routine fund transfer one had forgotten to disarm when default seemed certain?

But so far the funds are still in CWU accounts and it appears we will not lose our investment. I was told at least two other public entities also recieved full payment. Can’t wait to see what’s in the paper tomorrow.

The legislature appears a little closer to concluding the state budget bailout than that of Wenatchee. Today some lawmakers said they might be able to chip away at some reductions (a “down payment” on the deficit is what the gov called it), making the job a little easier when regular session rolls around Jan. 9. Hearings on financial aid, higher ed governance, and other issues continue as if it were regular session. Perhaps that means the legislature will have less to do when they return in January. It’s looking like at least one more week of this very special session–then perhaps adjournment in time for holidays?

The governor gift-wrapped three tax proposals and delivered them to legislative leaders today. The total package is worth about $850 million. The proposals include:

  • Raise $282 million by eliminate sales tax breaks for non residents and taxing oil companies’ windfall provides, while increasing the cigarette tax by 25 cents.
  • Temporarily hike the sales tax by half a penny, but only with the approval of voters in March (this raises about $500 million)
  • A menu of smaller changes to current law, generating nearly $60 million.

About Linda Schactler

Linda is the former Director of Communications for the Washington State Senate, and former deputy director of the Washington State Higher Education Coordinating Board. From 2000 through 2010 Linda was the proprietor of Schactler Communications, an Olympia-based public affairs business. She holds a master of arts in English literature from Washington University in St. Louis. Linda can be reached at her Ellensburg office, 509-963-1384, or on her cell phone, 509-607-4103.
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