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Category: State budget


UPDATE: Senate passes budget on 44-to-4 vote; House votes 81-to-11 to send to Gov. Inslee

UPDATE 6:40 p.m.: The House passed the budget, sending it to the governor. Eleven Republicans voted no.

The lopsided House and Senate votes add up to a combined 125-15 margin in support of the compromise plan.

Original post:

The compromise state budget deal just passed the Senate on an overwhelming vote, with only four senators voting no: two Democrats, Rosemary McAuliffe of Bothell and Bob Hasegawa of Seattle, and two Republicans, John Smith of Colville and Mike Padden of Spokane Valley.

The budget came in for mostly praise — after some critical speeches from conservatives like Smith who would have preferred to add a study of how much fish people

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Gov. Jay Inslee’s budget office posts memo on how it would respond to government shutdown

As promised last week, Gov. Jay Inslee‘s budget office has released details on how it thinks it can legally respond to a shutdown of state government if a budget isn’t approved by the Legislature by June 30.

A week ago, Inslee’s budget director David Schumacher asked agencies for details on what might be able to remain open based on factors such as federal mandates and funding, whether it is authorized by the already adopted transportation budget and services that do not require a specific authorization or appropriation by the Legislature.

“The state constitution prohibits payment of treasury funds without an

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Budget proposal would delay school payments

House Democrats’ latest proposal shaves well over half a billion dollars off its previous proposal for school spending.

But a significant chunk of that reduction, $140 million, would be removed through a bit of fiscal sleight of hand. It’s intended to avoid hurting school districts — and might even help them.

The savings would come from making a payment to school districts on July 1 instead of at the end of June, pushing it into the next two-year budget cycle for the Legislature but keeping it in the same budget cycle for school districts.

It’s reminiscent of a

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What’s the process for filling the late Sen. Mike Carrell’s vacant seat?

With Wednesday’s untimely passing of state Sen. Mike Carrell, R-Lakewood, questions have emerged as to how — and when — his vacant 28th legislative district senate seat will be filled.

Under the appointment process for a vacant legislative seat —  spelled out in Washington’s Constitution and in state statute — the Pierce County Council will have the first crack at deciding Carrell’s replacement.

Because Carrell was a Republican, the county’s Republican Party gets to choose three candidates to submit for the county council’s consideration. The council has up to 60 days from the date of vacancy (Wednesday) to appoint Carrell’s

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More radio ads on state budget, this time from state employees’ union

From Washington Federation of State Employees website

The Washington Federation of State Employees, the largest state worker union, said today it is airing ads for the next three weeks to pressure lawmakers to close tax loopholes.

The advertisements are airing on the radio in nearly every part of the state, according to the union, which said it is running cable television ads in areas that lack commercial radio stations. The federation released this transcript:

There’s a good plan in Olympia to close two percent of Washington’s 640 tax loopholes to fund schools and

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Memorial scheduled Saturday in Gig Harbor for Tom Huff, former state budget architect

A memorial for former state representative Tom Huff will be Saturday, according to friends and family.

The Celebration of Life for Tom Huff will be at 11 a.m. at St. Nicholas Catholic Church at 3510 Rosedale St. NW in Gig Harbor, with a reception to follow.

Most recently, Huff was the House Republican pick for the four-person state commission that finished redrawing Washington’s political boundaries last year.

He served in the state House from 1995 to 2000, where he chaired the Appropriations Committee.

The state budget architect joined the House after a career as an executive for Sears.


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Tax package includes $1.27 billion for 167, 509 & I-5 HOT lanes; assumes new Pierce Transit taxing authority

Updated 2:30 p.m. with more on projects. Updated with timeline for gas tax increases.

House Democrats today called for raising the gas tax by 5 cents this year and then gradually by another 5 cents over at least three years and raising a series of fees to pay for roads, ferries and other spending.

The biggest beneficiary would be the so-called Puget Sound Gateway, at $1.27 billion, the amount sought most recently by backers. The project combines an extension of state Route 167 between Puyallup and the Port of Tacoma with an extension of a similarly unfinished stretch of state

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UPDATE: House, Senate capital budgets fund Bates college building, trail; differ on Pierce County Skills Center

REVISED 3:15 p.m. with House details.

Budgeters are offering to spend at least $23 million for a building to house communications technology programs at Bates Technical College’s Mohler campus in central Tacoma and $2.5 million for a pedestrian link between Ruston Way and Point Defiance Park.

Those are two Pierce County projects where the House and Senate capital-construction budgets line up. They would also devote state money to security cameras and fire alarms at the women’s prison in Purdy ($6.4 million in the Senate, $6 million in the House); a plant to clean up storm water in South Tacoma ($4

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