2009 Defined

By Josh Feit April 28, 2009

I think the best way to summarize the dramatic legislative session in Olympia that just ended on Sunday—clearer than anything a political reporter like me could write or more incisive than anything the  brilliant pundits could say on TV or radio—can be found in plain English in a bill last seen in committee on April 21. 

Just head to sections 11 through 17 in Rep. Eric Pettigrew's (D-37, S. Seattle) sales tax bill and take a look at the programs he was trying to save with his three-tenths of a cent sales tax—programs that are in free fall today because the money's not there now.

Sure, we tried to capture the impact of this year's harsh bottom line by documenting some other cuts in the budget, like the cuts to senior health care , cuts to  women's health services, and cuts to the state's Basic Health Plan (and the Seattle Times had a front-page article on the Basic Health Plan cuts as well), but the ideological battle over taxes and government  and how it was resolved when Pettigrew's bill went down—with a $13 million cut to children's health care, a $75 million cut to low-income care at hospitals, a $28 million cut to mental health care among other cuts—defines the 2009 session.

Here (full bill) is a picture of what went unfunded—a perfect snapshot of this year's legislative session:  


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