To fund the services Washingtonians need, Sen. Murray has proposed a series of revenue ideas, including phasing out a temporary increase in the sales tax.
Sen. Ed Murray, D-Seattle, told The Associated Press that he doesn't want the bulk of education cuts or cuts to critical care hospitals to be decided by voters, as proposed by Gov. Chris Gregoire in November.
Instead, Murray said that he wants to see Republicans and Democrats work together to maintain those programs, by increasing some business and occupation preferential rates, increasing the cigarette tax, extending the beer tax and reducing the sales tax break for cars purchased from auto dealers, among other things.
All of those things require a two-thirds vote, which means majority Democrats would need Republican votes, something Murray says he is hopeful for.
Murray said putting education and critical health care on the ballot is a "win or lose scenario."
"We shouldn't take that risk," he said. "We should take care of that problem here."
But Murray stressed that those actions alone won't solve the state's nearly $1 billion budget crisis, so in addition to sending voters a temporary sales tax increase, as proposed by Gregoire, Murray also wants voters to decide on a capital gains tax. Murray says his proposal would ramp down the amount of that sales tax that would go down as a permanent capital gains tax of 5 percent would start in Jan. 1., 2013.