Sunrise in Olympia

That’s how we’re thinking of it, at least. The Bus headed down to Olympia today to celebrate the very first day of the 2010 legislative session. Sweet, no? Indeed. Now, we weren’t alone. Oh no. We met up with some of our favorite folks, from Fuse Washington, to WashCAN and many many more to make sure the session got started off right.

To be more specific, we were there to drop off petitions from over 15,000 Washingtonians, calling for an alternative to an all-cuts budget, and asking our leaders to maintain those hugely freaking important programs that are on the chopping block. And what a morning it was – we met with, and gave massive stacks of petitions to, Governor Gregoire, Speaker of the House Frank Chopp, and Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown. All in all, it was a pretty powerful morning, and we have the pics to prove it.

Many, many photos here, and video coming soon, including the great 2010 debate between Iron Jim Dawson and Tim Eyman (we kid you not).

Hella signatures - over 15,000 to be exact

Peter, repping Seattle

Cecilly and Peter - so many petitions!

Meet the Gov

Hello Governor, these are petitions

Many many more below the jump:

Cecily lays down the law

Media frenzy

Count the Governors

Cecily and Essex, hello world

Peter and Essex, g'day

We in the house, house, house, house

Joshua Welter, holding court

Waiting, with bated breath

Speaker of the House, house, house, house (echo?)

Speaker Chopp, with folks around the way

Cherie and Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown - the handoff

Talking with Senator Brown

Lisa Brown. Style. Kapow.

The media madness descends on Lisa Brown



6 Responses to “Sunrise in Olympia”

  1. 1 LEFTisRIGHT
    January 11, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    Washington Bus is the most powerful organization IN THE WORLD!!!!! Must be because all of us yooths are making it happen. Whonder what young people did to have their voices heard before the Bus rolled into our beautiful state?

    GO BUS!

  2. 2 Sarajane Siegfriedt
    January 11, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    Advocates should be loud and assertive about the need to raise revenues. Governor Gregoire has said she would raise only $700 million of the deficit, about one-third in revenues, and balance the rest with cuts to essential services. That’s not nearly enough. We need to raise $1.7 billion in revenues.

    The King County Democrats take the position that we should raise two-thirds in revenues and cut one-third in services. The amount of the revenue goal will determine what kind of revenues are considered. Raising the tobacco tax raises $88 million. A 5-cent tax on a can of soda raises “only” $94 million. Taxing candy and gum gets us a measly $30 million. Each of these brings in 1/20th or less of the goal.

    It will be less painful to vote for a few large taxes than many small ones. Extending the sales tax to all services, not just professional services, would do the most to fill the deficit gap, perhaps a billion. It would also be, in effect, progressive tax, since low-income people tend to hire few lawyers, accountants and financial advisers. I’ll bet most moderate-income people would prefer to pay sales tax on haircuts, rather than see 85,000 people lose Basic Health plans. According to the Rebuilding our Economic Future Coalition, a recent poll showed that–after hearing how deep the cuts in services would be–65% of Washingtonians supported increasing revenues.

    Raising the sales tax is the wrong move. We are officially the most regressive tax state in the country, with our poorest paying 17% of their income in state and local taxes and the wealthiest paying only 3%. Any tax solution must address this moral wrong. Extending the sales tax to all services is a move in this direction.

    The Governor has said she wants to address tax breaks. I suggest the legislature start with the largest non-performing tax break. That would be Boeing’s 2003 $3.2 billion (over 20 years) for promising 1,200 additional jobs. Instead, last year alone they laid off over 10,000.

    The Seattle Times on Sunday Jan. 4th ran an article about other states rescinding their nonperforming tax breaks and demanding refunds, or “clawbacks.” We want to see that here, too. We don’t appreciate being played for fools.

    All tax exemptions should automatically sunset after 10 years, unless they can prove the public benefit or jobs created. They should be renewed or let lapse as a package, like a “base closure” commission. The current system isn’t working.

    Legislators should also use this crisis as an opportunity to take needed steps toward an income tax for high-earners, individuals earning $250,000 a year and couples making over $500,000. This tax would be constitutional if Washington law defined income as different from property. Sens. Adam Kline and Rosa Franklin’s SJB 8205 addresses this and should be given an early hearing.

    Most of all, Democrats should take courage, and note that Seattle passed the Seattle Housing Levy in this recession by 68%, the highest margin in its history. The people will support you if you make your case and do the right thing.

  3. 4 Don Barbieri
    January 11, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    GREAT pictures and coverage! for those of us on the East Side (the real east side) of the State, this effort to record the day and see the expressions is great stuff! Come on Lisa, Frank… 🙂

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