What we saw happen on Friday was the culmination of an expert coup by the ascendant moderate Democrats who joined with the Republicans to short circuit a move by labor to attach a child care benefit ($15 per child per week up to $50) to the $300 million tax break for business.
At least on the senate side.
The house committee passed the tax break, but also the child benefit. (And if that doesn't fly with the entire caucus, watch for the house to work some kind of benefit beyond the senate version into the bill.)
And so, there are more politics to come. The full house is expected to take this up on Wednesday.
Two liberal state house members, labor committee chair Rep. Mike Sells (D-38, Everett ) and freshman Chris Reykdal (D-22, Olympia) published an editorial in the Seattle Times today making the case for a balanced bill that also gets money directly to workers.
It is well-established economic fact that the quickest and most effective way to funnel money back to businesses is to put it in the pockets of those who need it most — the families who have lost their employment. Our plan is a shot in the arm to our economy, more so than any other, including tax breaks.
Let's face it, what businesses need now more than anything is business. They need consumers shopping in their stores and buying their services.
There are few places where we will have the ability to bolster our state's social-safety net in this biennial budget. Currently, the proposals before us are still in flux as we weigh their merits. But what is absolutely certain is that we must find some balance between tax benefits for businesses and benefits for the unemployed.