I just got off the phone with a House member in Olympia. On the condition of anonymity, he offered his thoughts on what sort of budget the legislature is likely to pass:
Basically, there are three scenarios:
One, we can pass a no-new-taxes budget and then send a referendum to the people to fund increases. I call this the chickenshit option.
Two, we can somehow cobble together a majority to pass a bare-bones budget with some sort of revenue increases to cover it. The last time the legislature did this [in the early 80s], they added a food tax and the Republicans lost their majority as a result.
Three, the leadership can get together and say 'this is unprecedented--we need to get together with all of you and find a way to increase revenue.'
The thing is, without a comprehensive new structure--which we don't have time for--we'll have to increase the current, regressive taxes. I don't think that's gonna happen. I wouldn't vote for it. We're gonna do the chickenshit option.