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Cuts and new revenue state budget proposals set for Monday

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington Governor Chris Gregoire is set to propose a mix of cuts and new revenues to close a $1.4 billion budget shortfall. The Democrat has scheduled a news conference Monday morning.

Over the past several weeks, Gregoire has reviewed a long list of options for drawing new dollars into state coffers. “Revenue options” is the term Olympia insiders use. That covers old fashioned tax hikes along with fee increases and the repeal of tax exemptions.

Gregoire is expected to propose a revenue package totaling $500 million to $750 million. This is money that would buy back some of the cuts she’ll also be proposing.

Special session next

The Governor’s roll out comes one week before lawmakers convene for a special budget session. House Democratic Leader Pat Sullivan confirms there’s plenty of talk among his members about sending a tax measure to the voters sometime next year.

“Easily a majority of our caucus wants to look at revenue ideas and revenue proposals in order to balance the budget. That there’s more support for a balanced approach rather than an all cuts,” Sullivan said.

Republicans remain steadfast that tax hikes during an economic recovery are a bad idea.

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy as well as the Washington State legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia." Prior to joining the Northwest News Network, Austin worked as a television reporter in Seattle, Portland and Boise. Austin is a graduate of Garfield High School in Seattle and Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut. Austin’s reporting has been recognized with awards from the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors, Public Radio News Directors Incorporated and the Society of Professional Journalists.