State legislators have now failed to reach a budget agreement without going into a special session six times in the last seven years. Washington was still ranked the fifth most polarized state in the nation in 2015, according to research by Boris Shor, a professor at Georgetown University. Since the late 1980s, Washington has had the third most polarized state government.
A change to a little-known tax provision for national network TV broadcasters could help pave the way to a budget compromise in Olympia. The current and back taxes could bring about $81 million through the 2019 budget year — which lawmakers could use in their negotiations to reach a budget agreement.
In the new Senate operating budget proposal, combined, spending would increase by $177.3 million over enacted 2015-17 appropriations. The new proposal would increase NGFS+ spending by $143.7 million more than in the Senate-passed version. The new proposal would save $21.1 million NGFS+ in the Department of Natural Resources by using Budget Stabilization Account funds for fire suppression rather than the general fund.
Legislators concluded the 60-day regular session Thursday night without a budget deal and promptly began a special session, at the governor’s direction, in search of one. Meanwhile, Gov. Jay Inslee vetoed 27 bills Thursday night in response to the failure of the House and Senate to agree on a supplemental spending plan before adjourning. All of the 37 bills passed with strong bipartisan support. Lawmakers could try to override the 27 vetoes. Or any bill can be reintroduced and approved again during the special session.
A person is only able to lead a healthy life because of the entire web around them: of society, government, health professionals, friends and family. Keep that in mind as certain presidential candidates invoke the founders of our country or other contemporary leaders as paragons of self-sufficiency.
Health Care Authority (HCA) maintenance level increases make up the vast majority of all maintenance level changes in the 2016 supplemental operating budget proposals. If adopted, HCA maintenance level changes would increase spending by $159.1 million. We take a look at the issue in a new policy brief.
Lawmakers remain tight-lipped about budget negotiations, leaving many to wonder if they’ll finish on time or go into a special session. Oddly enough, it’s House Democrats who have threatened to go home without passing a budget, despite Governor Inslee’s insistence that he will call a special session in order to get a supplemental budget.
Speaking to reporters at a press conference Monday, Inslee said he will block legislation approved by the Legislature if an agreement on a 2016 supplemental budget isn’t reached soon. Lawmakers are scheduled to end their current 60-day session Thursday. If they don’t approve a budget by then, Inslee’s office said the governor will convene a special session starting Friday for them to complete their work.
With the 60-day session set to end Thursday, the House and Senate are still seeking agreement on how to pay for last year’s wildfires, shore up staffing at state psychiatric hospitals and ensure a future for charter schools in Washington. They also are debating what steps to take to ease a shortage of teachers and state troopers, and to help an increasing number of homeless people.