budget

The state of Oregon is getting ready to send $402 million back to taxpayers. State economists Wednesday announced the first so-called kicker rebate since 2007.

Washington lawmakers will have to return for a second 30-day special session. The first overtime session ends Thursday and the House and Senate still don’t have a budget deal.

In Olympia, legislative budget writers got a shot of good news Friday regarding tax collections.

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President Barack Obama’s budget would spend $2.3 billion on cleanup at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in 2016. But it shifts the focus of cleanup. The proposed budget would spend more on cleanup of the tank waste and a massive plant meant to treat that sludge. The President’s proposed budget would cut about $100 million from the Department of Energy’s Richland Operations office.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

The agency that oversees child welfare in Washington wants to hire nearly 100 more child protection workers.

But the budget request comes after years of lawsuits that cost the state more than $150 million. Now the question is whether Washington’s Department of Social and Health Services has taken adequate steps to learn from child welfare cases that went awry.

Part of the problem is fresh reports of child abuse and neglect keep pouring in – up 10,000 over the last two years.

'It truly is a crisis'

Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber has unveiled an $18.6 billion spending plan for the next two years. The Democrat outlined his proposal at the state capitol Monday. Roughly half of the money is marked for education.

Kitzhaber mentioned his budget also includes tax relief for low-income workers.

"To ensure that hard work is actually rewarded with a better life…to ensure that when you get more wages, when your income goes up, you actually have more money, not less money in your pocket," Kitzhaber said.

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Washington state employees have not had a cost-of-living raise in six years. But that could change in the next budget cycle.

Counties across the Northwest are heavily dependent on timber revenue from federal lands have been struggling to provide public health services. Now, one county in Oregon has told the state it will no longer provide those services. That's left state officials scrambling to figure out how to cover the gap. Correspondent Chris Lehman reports.

Colin Fogarty / Northwest News Network

Washington Governor Jay Inslee is directing state agencies to identify 15 percent cuts in the next budget. The directive comes as the latest revenue forecast out Tuesday shows an ongoing sluggish recovery. State budget director David Schumacher says the budget-cutting exercise does not mean all agencies will be cut by 15 percent.

Budget Deal Struck In Washington Legislature

Mar 13, 2014
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Washington public schools will get an additional nearly $60 million, but teachers will not get a cost of living raise this year. That’s the upshot of a budget deal that’s being announced at this hour at the Capitol in Olympia.

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