OLYMPIA – Although Gov. Jay Inslee says he doesn’t expect a state government shutdown on July 1 and legislative leaders say they are doing everything to avoid one, the state budget office Friday posted a list of what each agency will do if a budget deal isn’t reached by June 30.
OLYMPIA -- Senate Republicans set the stage for the upcoming second special session by releasing a new 2015-17 budget that they contend meets many of Democrats' requirements without raising taxes.
A leader of House Democrats said it still relies on "gimmicks".
OLYMPIA -- The House passed a $5.1 billion transportation budget on a bipartisan vote. The compromise spending plan now goes to the Senate, which could pass it before the first special session ends tomorrow.
OLYMPIA -- Contract negotiations between the state and its employees' unions should be open to the public and legislators, Senate Republicans argued Tuesday.
Union leaders said that would be different from nearly all negotiations in the private sector and that the leaders of the committee conduct their budget negotiations behind closed doors.
OLYMPIA -- One of the Senate Republicans' pet peeves -- that negotiations between the public employees' unions and the governor's office are closed to them and the public -- is the subject of a bill that gets a hearing in Senate Ways & Means Committee today.
The children in Jennifer Gonzalez’s pre-school class at Windsor Elementary next fall probably won’t care, but they will owe their new tricycles in large part to a citizens’ commission that recently gave state’s elected officials a raise, a governor who didn’t feel right about taking it and a Legislature deadlocked over the budget.
OLYMPIA -- Four licensed marijuana stores in Western Washington sold pot to a minor working with the state agency on "compliance checks.
The owners face a $2,500 fine and possible suspension. The seller could be charged by a local prosecutor.
OLYMPIA -- A hearing on a bill to penalize teachers for one-day strikes featured a walkout by Democrats, questions of legal authority and denunciations of the education unions by conservative think tanks.
And it was all upstaged by a 10-year-old who said "We need to support our teachers. They should get paid for their strike days."
Gov. Jay Inslee said today the Legislature should be able to reach a deal on the 2015-17 budget thanks to several hundred million dollars of extra revenue that may come in.
Senate Republican leaders said it should be able to reach a deal, thanks to the new revenue.
But the road they describe to reach the deal was very different.
OLYMPIA -- Young hockey players for the Spokane Chiefs and other WHL teams in Washington will be exempted from certain labor laws which would have restricted their practice and playing time and made them subject to the minimum wage.
Without the law signed today by Gov. Jay Inslee, the league's Washington teams might not have been able to operate.
OLYMPIA -- State budget negotiators got some good news today, that the state can expect to collect about $400 million more in taxes and fees than they've been expecting over the next two years.
Will it be enough to bring budget negotiations, and the special session, to a rapid conclusion?
The two top budget writers didn't agree.