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.

Before they left town, Washington lawmakers approved a nearly $4 billion capital construction budget. That includes $130 million in member-requested projects – what you might call pork.

The Washington Legislature finally adjourned its 2015 session Friday. The last piece of business was for the state House to approve $508 million in new spending on roads, ferries and transit.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

The Washington state Senate has voted to delay a voter-approved class size measure and a biology test high school graduation requirement. The votes Thursday afternoon pave the way for the legislature to adjourn its third special session Friday. 

Typically, the Washington legislature is done long before Oregon because of how the legislative calendars work in each state. But not this year.

Washington state's brand new operating budget was not even hours old Wednesday when it sprung a big hole.

A $2 billion hole.

Oregon shoppers and bottled water will remain untaxed in Washington’s next two-year budget, but a couple of other tax exemptions will be eliminated.

Washington’s gas tax would go up nearly 12 cents per gallon to fund road projects under a deal struck between Democrats and Republicans.

Washington lawmakers still have time to get a budget deal and avert a partial government shutdown July 1.

CREDIT NORTHWEST POWER AND CONSERVATION COUNCIL/FLICKR

Washington state lawmakers have until next week to pin down a budget. If they don’t, parts of state government will shut down. In the midst of a drought, that could have ramifications for farmers and for fish.

This year’s drought is affecting Washington in all kinds of ways. It’s even threatening to make a potential government shutdown even more painful. That would happen on July 1 unless a budget agreement is reached.

The state of Washington has sent email alerts to 26,000 state employees notifying them of temporary layoff.

Washington House Democrats are moving forward with a plan to eliminate several tax exemptions, but they don’t yet have buy-in from Senate Republicans.

There’s still no budget deal in Olympia, but Washington House Democrats said Friday they’re willing to drop their push for a state capital gains tax.

If Washington lawmakers don’t have a budget by the end of the month, state government will shut down. But it would only be a partial shutdown.

Washington State Department of Enterprise Services

Monday was the eleventh day of a second special legislative session in Olympia, where Democrats and Republicans still have to hammer out the Washington state budget.

Washington House Democrats are doubling down on their pitch for a state capital gains tax while Republicans are reiterating their no-new-taxes mantra.

One day after the state got a favorable revenue forecast, Washington Governor Jay Inslee said he no longer believes the $1.4 billion tax package he proposed in December is necessary.

Marijuana sales and a recovering housing market should help boost Washington tax collections by more than $300 million over the next two years.

Washington’s 30-day special session is more than half over and there is still no sign of a budget deal.

    

There’s plenty of finger pointing, but not a lot of progress toward a budget deal in the Washington capitol. Legislative leaders took turns Thursday blaming each other for the slow pace of budget talks.

Budget negotiations have stalled with just a few days left in the Washington legislature’s 105-day session. The clock runs out on Sunday.

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