Moderation in all things is said to be good for health and long life. If so, we should be moderately energized by the $33.6 billion operating budget that finally zoomed through the Legislature a week ago.
It was too long coming. A regular session, special session and special session, up to the 11th hour, was strictly speaking unnecessary and agonizing, as the issues and positions were clear in May or earlier. Compromise brought an acceptable end, however. The highlights include $1 billion more for K-12 basic education, a down payment on the McCleary decision as required by the state Supreme Court. Higher education is boosted by 12 percent. For the first time in a generation there will be no tuition increases at colleges and universities.
The budget debate pitted the Democrats of the House against the mostly Republican Senate Majority Coalition Caucus. Both sides were forced to give ground. The House abandoned most tax proposals and tapping the rainy day fund. The Senate accepted taxes on land-line telephones and a revised estate tax, and got no workers compensation reform. Rising state revenue eased the compromise. For transportation, a 10.5-cent gas tax hike died, and with it many important projects went on hold. The tax and the projects will rise again.
The Senate approved the operating budget 44-4, and the House 81-11. Moderation is easier to swallow. Compromise, it turns out, is possible. That bodes well for the future.
This is the opinion of The Wenatchee World and its Editorial Board: Publisher Rufus Woods, Editor Cal FitzSimmons and Editorial Page Editor Tracy Warner.