Analysis: Bruising, transformative WA sessions



OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — After 135 days and two legislative sessions, Washington state lawmakers left Olympia leaving behind transformative changes to the state: Tuition will spike at the state’s universities and colleges by double digits; tens of thousands of state workers will earn smaller incomes; the state’s poor and disabled will see less assistance; weekend trips to state parks will cost more; some agencies will be consolidated; and the stages were set to reduce the state’s borrowing capacity and shut down the lone coal power plant left.

From the outset, lawmakers said they would rein in costs through cuts, not by raising or creating new taxes after seeing the results of the 2010 November elections, when taxes were voted down and the people reinstated the two-third majority to raise taxes and fees.

Gov. Chris Gregoire says that lawmakers followed the voters’ will by not filling the budget shortfall with new or raising taxes.