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Category: State Budget


Moody’s Investors says $1B for K-12 education is ‘credit positive’ for local schools

The recent legislative session did nothing to lift a “negative outlook” on Washington state government’s fairly good credit rating. But the Legislature’s decision to put nearly $1 billion of new money for K-12 schools may help some local school districts on a case-by-case basis.

Moody’s Investor Service, the national ratings agency, says the $1 billion for K-12 was a “credit positive” event that gives local school districts “some budgetary relief and increased financial flexibility” going forward. A note on Washington’s situation was released last Thursday in Moody’s Weekly Credit Outlook for Public Finance.

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State revenue collection ticks up $7.5 million above forecast in July monthly report

Washington’s state government revenues held up for another month, ticking $7.5 million higher than the June forecast which had furnished  enough new revenue to let lawmakers settle their differences and pass a budget.

You can see the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council’s full monthly revenue-collections report on June 11 to July 10 collections here. 

The improved revenue comes as state jobless rates are still falling and retail sales are growing, despite slowing job growth overall and a recent decline in aerospace industry jobs. The additional money is actually

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UPDATE – Gov. Inslee signs operating budget that ensures government can operate Monday

UPDATE : The governor’s list of vetoes is linked here.

ORIGINAL POST: Gov. Jay Inslee put pen to paper and signed an operating budget Sunday afternoon that authorizes spending by state government agencies for the next two years. Lawmakers had approved the plan Friday evening just in time to head off a government shutdown on July 1.

“Again we’ve done good things in tough times,’’ Inslee said in a 4:15 p.m. bill-signing session at the Capitol that was attended by a handful of lawmakers and about two-dozen legislative and gubernatorial staffers who clapped when he signed it. The Democrat

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UPDATE – Inslee: There’s a deal to avert government shutdown

Gov. Jay Inslee held a brief press conference this morning to announce a budget deal has been reached and a state-government shutdown is averted on Monday. The Democrat hopes the Senate and House send him the agreement for signing by 5 p.m. Friday and he said government operations will continue Monday as normal.

Inslee refused to take questions during the brief press conference at which he was joined by Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom, Senate Republican Leader Mark Schoesler, House Speaker Frank Chopp, ranking House Republican budget writer Gary Alexander and others.

The governor’s statement is here:

“I am happy

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UPDATE – Lawmakers still high-centered on budget, fish rules; Boeing explains its interest

A request by Boeing and Senate Republicans for additional research into fish-consumption risks is one of several smaller issues still holding up the Legislature’s quest to finish an operating budget deal Wednesday. The Republican-led Senate announced a deal was in place and both House Speaker Frank Chopp and spokesmen for Gov. Jay Inslee said that announcement was premature because negotiations were ongoing.

In the meantime, talks continued on the fish-standards issue that reared its head fairly late in the budget talks. Boeing wants more study before the Department of Ecology adopts higher fish-consumption standards. Inslee’s budget team and House

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UPDATE: Legislature adjourns; still on bubble of a budget deal

State lawmakers were still in a holding pattern early Tuesday evening, awaiting work by Senate Republican and House Democratic negotiators on remaining pieces of a two-year budget deal. Sunday is the deadline for passing a budget and getting it signed by Gov. Jay Inslee in order to avoid an unprecedented government shutdown that would begin July 1.

Inslee reported a “breakthrough” on Monday that he expected at the time to produce final agreements within hours. But disagreements over provisos and some policies  - including a reported insistence by Boeing on a proviso to further study fish-consumption standards – remained.


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Gov. Inslee sends letter to state workers on layoffs that strikes empathetic tone

Gov. Jay Inslee‘s budget office has directed state agencies to start notifying employees of the possibility temporary layoffs can begin next Monday for more than 26,000 workers. The layoffs affect workers in 34 agencies that must shut down completely and 24 that shut down partially, while 25 remain fully operational.

Inslee, a Democrat, also is sending an email note directly to state workers saying he remains hopeful of a budget compromise that would make the layoffs unnecessary. A budget must be adopted and signed by the governor by Sunday midnight, June 30, to avert the shutdown.

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UPDATE – No budget deal in sight; Inslee’s team waiting to Monday for decision on sending layoff notices to thousands of workers

UPDATE: Gov. Jay Inslee’s budget office won’t make its final decision on sending out temporary layoff notices to thousands of state government workers until morning – giving lawmakers a bit more time to forge a late-night or early morning budget agreement.

“A decision likely wouldn’t come until tomorrow,” spokesman Ralph Thomas of the Office of Financial Management said early Sunday evening. “We’re still waiting to see if they get a deal tonight.’’

ORIGINAL POST: Budget negotiators for the Republican-steered Senate and Democrat-controlled House were trading offers and deliberating behind closed doors in Olympia Sunday afternoon in search of a budget deal

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