Jay Inslee, after meeting with Republican and Democrat legislative leaders on Monday, does not have plans to call a special session to address the McCleary decision-driven $100,000 per day fine imposed last week by the state Supreme Court. Ultimately, lawmakers agreed to continue meeting, “to see if they can reach consensus on a plan that would satisfy the Supreme Court.” The Seattle Times,
“The first-term Democratic governor said his office and lawmakers would ‘work vigorously to tee up a solution’ that the Legislature could then approve, perhaps in a brief special session before the end of the year. More meetings are scheduled this week.
“Republican lawmakers agreed further talks are needed before considering a special session.”
Due to the fact that the state Legislature must vote to appropriate money to pay the Supreme Court’s fine, the decision is largely a symbolic public relations move by the liberal justices. The Seattle Times,
“David Postman, a spokesman for Inslee, said, ‘We take the court’s sanctions very seriously.’ But after conferring with the state Attorney General’s Office, he said, the governor concluded legislation is required before such a segregated account can be created. Until then, he said, the state will keep an accounting of the fine…
“Legislators do not necessarily have to resolve all the McCleary funding issues to satisfy the court’s demand for a plan, Inslee aides said. What the court wants is a timetable with measurable milestones it can hold lawmakers to — with the big decisions on taxes or other spending to come later, said Postman.”
Inslee would not be sustaining his well-deserved reputation for being a green governor if he did not take the opportunity to use the court’s order as an excuse to call for new taxes. Following his meeting with lawmakers, Inslee said satisfying the McCleary decision would cost an additional $3 billion a biennium. Inslee went on to claim that meeting costs would require “spectacular revenue growth” or “some additional revenue source.”
No doubt, that means our green governor will—once again—push his state capital gains income tax in the near future.