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OLYMPIA -- It's Day 9 of the third special session, which also makes it Day 69 of legislative overtime, or Day 172 since the Legislature started back in January. Here's what's up.
Sen. Andy Hill said the deals to reach the 2015-17 operating budget are the way things are done. He's right. But maybe that's the problem.
OLYMPIA – A $16 billion transportation tax and fee bill with an 11.9-cent gasoline tax increase hit some roadblocks early Wednesday but eventually passed the House and Senate and was sent to Gov. Jay Inslee. Lawmakers must still pass bills that approve the list of projects and authorize the sale of bonds for some of them, but that won’t happen until they are called back to the capital sometime after the July Fourth weekend.
OLYMPIA – To explain the current state of the Washington Legislature, forget the philosophy of Rousseau, the ideas of Jefferson or the eloquence of Lincoln. Turn instead to the dictum of Berra: It ain’t over ’til it’s over. For the Legislature, it definitely ain’t over.
OLYMPIA -- Fight over class-size initiative and school testing could lead to $2 billion hole in state's new budget.
OLYMPIA -- A $16 billion transportation bill with an 11.9 cent gasoline tax passed the House early Wednesday morning, but met a roadblock in the Senate before passing just after dawn.
OLYMPIA – With the Legislature lurching toward adjournment and some 20 minutes to spare before a partial government shutdown, Gov. Jay Inslee signed budgets Tuesday night to keep state government operating.
OLYMPIA -- A new roadblock may be developing in the Legislature's plans to suspend parts of last year's initiative that requires small class sizes throughout the K-12 system.
OLYMPIA -- Gov. Jay Inslee will sign the $38.2 billion state operating budget sometime this evening, not at 3:30 p.m. as his office previously said.
OLYMPIA – After 165 days of partisan bickering over taxes and spending, the Legislature moved swiftly Monday to pass a $38.2 billion budget to run state government for the next two years. The Senate also passed and sent to the House a plan to spend $16.1 billion on transportation projects over the next 16 years. The state operating budget, needed to avoid a partial government shutdown on Wednesday, covers a wide array of state programs, from public schools and colleges to mental health and social services. It was the main job of the Legislature this year and forced lawmakers into a triple overtime session that started Sunday. Released to the public and most members shortly after lunch, it passed the Senate on a 38-10 vote around 6 p.m. and cleared the House on an even stronger 90-8 count just two hours later.
OLYMPIA -- The Senate passed and sent to the House a $38.2 billion budget that would allow the state to avoid a partial government shutdown on Wednesday.
OLYMPIA -- The Senate began debate on the 2015-17 operating budget about 5:30 p.m., and there may be good karma for passing it and avoiding a partial government shutdown. . .
OLYMPIA -- After spending 165 days struggling to write a budget, the Legislature needed less than two hours to pass a $38.2 billion spending plan out of both chambers that boosts money for schools and mental health programs and cuts tuition at state colleges.
OLYMPIA -- Some details of the state's proposed $38 billion budget continue to be worked out as the Legislature prepares to vote later today.
OLYMPIA -- New gas tax increase proposal has more than $1 billion in Spokane area projects. Vote expected later today on the $16.1 billion proposal.
OLYMPIA -- The transportation package that would raise gasoline taxes to pay for major road, bridge and rail projects around the state would have more than $1 billion for Spokane-area projects. UPDATE: Budget details just posted
OLYMPIA – College tuition would fall, teachers would get raises and mental health funding would rise in a two-year budget deal announced on Saturday after long negotiations among state leaders. But few details were revealed – indeed some numbers apparently weren’t even finalized – as officials promised in a news conference that they made a deal that will prevent a partial government shutdown scheduled to start Wednesday.
OLYMPIA – Changes to the state’s marijuana taxes and the way they will be spent received final approval from the Senate and were sent to Gov. Jay Inslee Saturday. After rejecting a proposal that would allow communities that ban marijuana to share some of the state’s revenue from the heavily taxed substance, the Senate voted 36-7 to approve the changes. The bill substitutes the current 25 percent excise tax on marijuana on the three levels of licensing – growing, processing and retail – for a 37 percent excise tax collected by the retailer. Recreational marijuana also will carry a 10 percent sales tax. That tax will be waived for medical marijuana.
OLYMPIA – Washington adults may have to average about 35 joints each year by 2020 for the state to hit current projections on tax revenue from legal marijuana. Or so the back-of-the-envelope figuring would suggest, based on a couple of unrelated numbers that cropped up last week. Left in the hands of reporters who have little to do because the Legislature is doing even less, numbers are dangerous things. But here’s one way to figure it:
OLYMPIA – College tuition would fall, teachers would get raises and mental health funding would rise in a two-year budget deal announced on Saturday after long negotiations among state leaders. But few details were revealed.