Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is sounding the alarm over the pace of budget negotiations at the state Capitol. During a media availability Monday, the Democrat said that it’s time for both sides to make “major moves” toward compromise.
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.
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.
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 Washington state Senate Wednesday morning failed to muster a two-thirds vote to suspend a voter-approved class size reduction measure. That could put a $2 billion hole in the freshly passed two-year budget.
Washington Governor Jay Inslee will sign a new two-year budget into law Tuesday – just in time to avert a partial government shutdown. State lawmakers moved quickly to pass the $38 billion budget Monday night after striking a deal that ended weeks of gridlock.
With a third special session underway, the Washington House and Senate plan to vote sometime Monday on a two-year budget. A vote on a gas tax package is also possible this week. It follows a whirlwind weekend of negotiations.