Negotiations on the budget ended in a plan that makes deep cuts and sweeping changes in state spending.
But these budget changes ended up being too controversial:
- The state history museums in Tacoma, Spokane and Olympia will remain open on a reduced schedule. They were preserved in part through a transfer of money that will likely delay construction of a state Heritage Center on the Capitol Campus.
- Prisoners will not be released early as called for in both House and Senate budgets.
- While employees will be furloughed, higher paid state workers making $50,000 or more won’t be subject to extra furloughs.
- Businesses and local governments won’t be asked to take over more of the costs of the environmental permits they need to harvest trees, build bridges and roads and irrigate farms.
- Departments, for the most part, won’t be rearranged. The proposal for a Department of Enterprise Services is the last major disagreement over the budget and still might survive. But Fish and Wildlife won’t be merged into a single agency with State Parks, and a single education agency to manage preschool through college won’t be created.
- Finally, it appears the two twin turboprop airplanes used by Gov. Chris Gregoire and state agencies won’t be sold off.