Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Imagine that — letting the public see budget details before their representatives cast their all-important votes. Odd as it seems, that’s not the practice today.

The norm in a legislative session finds the House and Senate passing their own versions of the budget. Negotiators then go behind closed doors to work out the differences. Once a deal has been struck, the budget is rushed to the floor of both chambers and legislative leaders call for an immediate vote.

Legislators do not have time to read, let alone digest and react to the spending document. In the days when paper copies of the budget were circulated on the House and Senate floor, the bound pages were still warm to the touch from the copy machine when the vote was recorded.

As he has in the past, Rep. Alexander, R-Olympia, has introduced a bill to bring a halt to the rushed budget vote. House Bill 2872 would require a 72-hour waiting period before final adoption of the budget.

Alexander’s level-headed proposal makes sense. But the sad reality is it likely will be rejected by budget-writing Democrats in the House and Senate.

That’s unfortunate.

Excert from an editorial in The Olympian

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