Caffeinated News & Gossip

1. The Republican dominated Majority Coalition Caucus in the state senate is releasing their counterproposal to Gov. Jay Inslee's budget plan today.

Inslee's plan put $1.26 billion extra toward K-12 funding by closing a batch of tax exemptions worth $565 million and by making two temporary taxes—a 50 cents per gallon tax on beer and a B&O surcharge on professional services —permanent, for $661 million.

Expect the Republicans to also put extra money into K-12 education (the Washington State Supreme Court mandated additional funding above and beyond the base line $16 billion per biennium, which nonpartisan budgeting staff crunched to mean around $1 billion to $1.4 billion this biennium). 

But watch for the Republicans to add K-12 dollars without relying on new revenue (except for closing a tax exemption for landline phones, which will end up being worth about $32 million, to avoid a lawsuit from cell phone carriers).

The Republican approach, which will probably stress savings from government reforms, is likely to mean more cuts.

The house, controlled by the Democrats, is expected to release their plan—which will look something like Inslee's by focusing on closing tax loopholes and finding new revenue—in the next few days.

Kevin Daniels, president of major local downtown developer Nitze-Stagen, contributed to $500 to Steinbrueck.

2. Mayoral candidate and former city council member Peter Steinbrueck has been tagged as the neighborhood candidate—which can be a euphemism for anti-development.

However, according to his latest campaign finance reports, Kevin Daniels, president of major local downtown developer Nitze-Stagen, contributed to $500 to Steinbrueck late last month.

As part of a big SoDo redevelopment vision, one of Nitze-Stagen's top projects is redeveloping Port of Seattle property at terminals 46 and 37, stressing varied land use options (meaning: Not just industrial). Having Daniels in his corner complicates Steinbrueck's hard and fast image, from his anti-stadium pitch, as being a crank about adding a commercial and entertainment development facet to SoDo. 

3. Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson (a former NBA star) had a last-minute Twitter announcement (#PlayingtoWin) heading into today's fateful meetings in New York City where Chris Hansen's Seattle-bound investment group and a Sacramento group of investors will make competing pitches to the NBA's board of governors to own the Sacramento Kings. Hansen already bought 65 percent of the team.



Johnson tweeted that a Sacramento investor had ponied up for the bankrupt seven percent ownership share of the team, putting that piece (which Hansen had initially bought up as well) back in Sacramento's hands; the Sacramento owners had right of first refusal on that piece.

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