Washington State’s Senate passed a budget proposal last week, but that’s not the big news. The really surprising thing, noted by this Seattle Times editorial, is that it was pushed through by the Republican minority with the help of three Democrats who deserted their own party lines.Washington state’s budget woes will sound familiar to Via Meadia readers:
The Legislature has been in denial since 2008, dreaming of the swift econonmic upturn that hasn’t happened. The private sector has had to adjust, but the Legislature and governor have done so only partly, resisting the tough decisions. Rather than bring state employee wages and benefits in line with those of their private sector constituents, they prioritized them over other important spending.
The hard realities of governance in cash-strapped states and municipalities are forcing politicians on both sides of the aisle to make difficult decisions and form new alliances that would have seemed unthinkable only a few years ago.What a concept: bipartisanship forcing compromise. Who knows? Maybe it will catch on at the national level too.