OLYMPIA – House Democrats asked Senate Republican leaders this morning to give more time to the public to review the Senate’s operating budget before hearing the bill this afternoon – just three hours after it was presented to the public at a press conference. Senate Republicans declined the request.
House Speaker Frank Chopp and Majority Leader Pat Sullivan said in a letter to Senate Republican Leader Mark Schoesler and Ways and Means Chair Andy Hill that the delay would be in the best interests of government transparency.
Last week, when House Democrats proposed a similar schedule and House Republicans objected, House Democrats changed plans to allow more time between the budget release and its public hearing.
The Washington Policy Center, a conservative policy organization, praised House Democrats’ decision, saying in an online editorial: “Hopefully there is no going back to the days of public hearings on budgets still hot off the printer.” The organization also noted that the Senate last year allowed at least a day before actually hearing the budget.
A copy of the letter to Senate leadership can be found here.