Sen. Ed Murray, D-Seattle, has an ace up his sleeve that he is dying to use.
He wants to take a capital gains tax proposal to Washington's November ballot. His proposed tax would apply to capital gains beyond the first $10,000 for a person and the first $20,000 for a married couple.
Republicans are against new taxes on general principle. As is Governor Jay Inslee, who said Wednesday that he did not like Murray's idea of taking a proposed tax hike to voters
But Murray is still researching and piecing together a capital gains tax bill. His plan is to wait. In late March, solid budget figures will begin to emerge. And Murray believes that's when legislators and Inslee will begin to see the impossibility of expanding school budgets with no new taxes and no serious social program cuts.
Murray is gambling that the others will back down on their no-new-taxes stances, and he wants a tax bill ready to roll if and when that happens. Inslee and Republicans are still confident that Murray's "we-need-a-tax-bill" scenario won't happen.
Murray's tucked-away bill is just one example of what will likely happen on a grand scale in the final few weeks of the legislative session: Last-minute backroom deals.