A very quick budget review with only 12 hours left to go before shutdown…

June 29, 12:00 PM – The state budget documents were made available early this morning. There are about 1,100 pages to sort through, so we are still working to understand all of the details, particularly in the human services areas. However, based on a very quick review we know: 

  •  The 1% property tax cap is left in place for local governments though the new state property tax levy is exempt for four years
  •  There are no new resources for indigent defense
  •  Shared revenues are intact except the Streamlined Sales Tax Mitigation funding is cut by 50% (does not impact majority of counties)
  • Marijuana revenue sharing with counties and cities will be increased to $15 million, so long as the state portion increases by $18 million next fiscal year
  • $12 million is provided for Foundational Public Health Services
  • Revenues are swept from the Public Works Assistance Account – $254 million
  • $21 million is transferred from the Local Toxics Account to the State Toxics Account
  • Both the Municipal Research Services Center and Local Government Fiscal Notes program are fully funded
  • There is no funding for GMA comprehensive plan update grants
  • Grants for shoreline master program updates and stormwater are cut
  • Funding is provided for both the public records reform legislation and language of public notices bills
  • There is NO funding for the ballot box legislation

We will continue to update you as we learn more.

June 29, 10:00 AM – Last night we learned that the budget will not be released at noon today, but will come out sometime this evening.  We may learn some details from legislators after they are briefed on the bill this morning. The legislature still plans to pass the budget on Friday. There will not be an opportunity for public review or comment.

Legislative leaders reached an agreement on the state operating budget and education funding.

June 28, 1:00 PM – This morning Governor Inslee announced that legislative leaders have reached an agreement on the state operating budget and education funding. Details of the agreement will not be released until 12:00 tomorrow (Thursday). Reportedly legislative caucuses will be briefed on the agreement tomorrow morning at 10. WSAC staff will provide initial reactions as soon as possible, and a complete budget summary with our end of session report.

June 27, 1:00 PM – There are widespread reports of an imminent budget agreement, but here in Olympia details are few and far between. Legislative budget negotiators are remaining remarkably tight-lipped. Most legislators only returned to town yesterday, and caucus have not been briefed on specifics of a possible deal. The conventional wisdom is that the details will need to be finalized by tomorrow (Wednesday) morning in order to prepare the necessary documents and have both chambers vote by midnight on Friday. WSAC staff will update this blog as we learn more.

Josh Weiss started working in Olympia in 1998 and in addition to spending the last 8 years at WSAC, has served as nonpartisan counsel to the House of Representatives, Legislative Director for the Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Environmental Policy Director for the Washington Forest Protection Association representing private forest landowners. Josh is a graduate of Central Washington University and the Vermont Law School, and is a fourth generation Washingtonian.

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