The Inslee McKenna Debate, notes from Spokane

From the Spokesman Review

Former Democratic Congressman Jay Inslee declined to promise that he would add a billion dollars in the next two-year budget to improve basic education in a way demanded by the state Supreme Court in a ruling made earlier this year. His opponent, Republican Rob McKenna did, noting that $1 billion is just 3 percent of the state budget. “We do have to realize that we don’t have a printing press,” Inslee said. “My opponent has made promises that we just cannot keep.” “It’s not something we can afford to do right away,” McKenna said. “If it’s not part of your vision, you’ll never attain it.”

McKenna tried to portray Inslee’s view as pro-tax and pro-regulation. Businesses and the environment would be better off if federal, state and local environmental regulations were examined so that they better align, McKenna said.

McKenna was more committed than Inslee in asking voters for a tax package to pay for several transportation projects, including work on the North Spokane freeway and the state Highway 520 bridge over Lake Washington. He pledged to take a package to the voters next year or in 2014.

McKenna: In the 1990s, over 16 percent of the state budget went to higher education. Now it’s 8 percent. Stop cutting higher education in the general fund budget, which is why I called Republicans to reverse their proposed cuts in higher education.

Followup: You’re talking about a lot of new state spending. Can you reverse the trend in a first term?

Inslee: Don’t dig the hole deeper.

readmore .. almost a full transcript!



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