Lawmakers leave behind big, expensive list of issues - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Lawmakers leave behind big, expensive list of issues

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Associated Press - March 22, 2008 1:15 PM ET

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - Just before the Washington Legislature adjourned a small plane carried a banner around the Capitol with the message, "Save our Sonics - Next year is too late!"

But lawmakers decided to wait until their next session. It's just 1 of several costly issues they'll have to face when they reconvene.

The biggest example of "kicking it forward" is the decision by the governor and Democrats who control both houses to expand the budget by over $300 million at a time the state faces a projected deficit of at least $2 billion.

Other big issues that will be waiting for lawmakers to return to Olympia include:

Paid family leave.

Better school financing.

Cleanup of Puget Sound.

Expanded health care.

Property tax relief.

Sales tax rebates for the poor.

Ferry financing.

Tolling mega-projects and addressing a multibillion-dollar backlog of road and bridge projects.

A new university for north Puget Sound.

Climate change restrictions.

Gov. Gregoire's Republican challenger Dino Rossi calls it the "punt list."

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