Today's Winner: Revenue.
Learn to trust the Fizz.
As we noted last week, we'd heard a rumor that the house Democrats in Olympia were going to break up the Ways and Means committee, going back to the way it used to be three years ago, creating one committee that would deal with appropriations (that is, what to spend things on) and another to deal with finance (that is, where does the money come from?)
House Democratic spokeswoman Melinda McCrady confirms today that, indeed, the Democrats are creating two committees: Finance and Appropriations.
Reframing the discussion this way will give advocates for new revenue the gumption to put taxes on the table.
Jolt isn't saying that the new Finance Committee will start raising taxes, but we imagine that reframing the discussion this way will give advocates for new revenue (perhaps by closing some of the 600-plus tax exemptions on the books) the gumption to put taxes on the table.
Today's Loser: State Rep. Ross Hunter.
Hunter has been the powerhouse chair of the Ways and Means Committee since 2011, when the committee was first created to subsume the then-Finance Committee.
Going back to the way it was before Hunter's ascension to chair of the super, one-stop-shop budget committee can certainly be read as sign that the caucus didn't like the way things were going.
McCrady wouldn't say who will be chairing Appropriations or Finance, but Jolt says Hunter will still be in the mix, likely chairing Appropriations.