April 17, 2007

Rainy Day Fund Clears Key Committee

By Randy Hodgins

Like many of you, I was very distracted yesterday watching the television reports of the campus shootings at Virginia Tech University.  It was hard to focus on the comparatively mundane matters of Olympia when faced with a tragedy of such magnitude.

Nevertheless, there were important developments yesterday that are worth mentioning and that will have implications on the resolution of the state budget.  Last evening, the House Appropriations Committee passed the Senate versions of the constitutional rainy day fund bill by a vote of 22-11, despite the objections of the chair, Rep. Helen Sommers (D-Seattle).

Since this had been a major obstacle to budget discussions, most observers expect negotiators to be able to finish their negotiations within the next couple of days.  The full House is expected to act on the bill quickly and legislative leaders have expressed a strong desire to adjourn by Friday or perhaps Saturday at the very latest.

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