After today, a budget is likely to have passed both chambers of the Legislature — albeit in very different forms — and negotiations will be able to begin in earnest in the final two weeks of the 105-day legislative session.
The House Appropriations Committee passed House Democrats’ budget at about 10 p.m. Thursday night, and a vote by the full House is scheduled to follow this afternoon. The committee didn’t make major changes but did remove funding for a study of coal exports. It also removed part of the money meant to implement prosecutors’ proposal to make it easier to keep people detained after they are deemed mentally incompetent to stand trial for violent crimes. Prosecutors have warned that a lack of proper funding could leave the new policy to fail.
The House Capital Budget Committee will now take a possible vote on its own budget for construction work. The same 8 a.m. meeting includes a work session on the potential impact of a federal court ruling that Washington violated tribal treaty rights by blocking salmon access to breeding water.