washington budget

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee Monday signed into law an update to the state's two-year budget. It puts more money into the state's mental health hospitals and pays for costs from last summer's wildfires.

The governor also wielded his veto pen.

After weeks of gridlock, the Washington House and Senate have reached an agreement on an update to the state’s two-year budget. The deal announced late Monday ends weeks of gridlock that resulted in a 30-day special session.

A fresh budget proposal and some partisan sparks. That’s how a special session of the Washington legislature kicked off Friday. Senate Republicans went public with their latest budget offer and House Democrats quickly cried foul.

Washington lawmakers adjourned their 60-day session Thursday night after failing to reach agreement on an update to the state’s two-year budget. In response, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee followed through on a threat to veto several bills. He also immediately called a special session of the legislature to finish its work.

The clock is running out on Washington’s 60-day legislative session. House Democrats and Senate Republicans have until Thursday at midnight to approve an update to the state’s two-year budget. But first they need to agree on the details.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has a blunt warning for state lawmakers:

“Your bills are going to get vetoed if you don’t do your job and pass a budget.”

A fight over the state budget could send Washington lawmakers into overtime. Or, the legislature could adjourn without updating the state’s current two-year spending plan. The lead budget writer in the Washington House raised both of those scenarios Thursday.

The stage is set in Olympia for a fight over eliminating tax breaks and whether to dip into the state’s rainy day fund. House Democrats say ‘yes’ to both. Senate Republicans say ‘no’.

Complying with a state Supreme Court order to fully fund public schools in Washington might have just gotten even harder. A new revenue forecast out Wednesday projects a sizable drop-off in tax dollars flowing to state coffers.

The frontlines of child protection in Washington are about to get a boost. The new state budget funds more than 40 new caseworker positions.

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