Washington state budget

Washington lawmakers will have to return for a second 30-day special session. The first overtime session ends Thursday and the House and Senate still don’t have a budget deal.

The clock runs out Thursday on Washington’s 30-day special session of the legislature. There are indications the pace of budget negotiations has picked up, but a second special session is still likely.

KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Teachers marched in the streets of Seattle Tuesday. It was part of a one-day walkout. They were protesting what they call the state Legislature’s failure to fully fund education. 

Parents had to figure out what to do with their kids. Many of them ended up at Seattle Center.

One day after the state got a favorable revenue forecast, Washington Governor Jay Inslee said he no longer believes the $1.4 billion tax package he proposed in December is necessary.

Washington state capitol flag Olympia legislature
Flickr Photo/Tony Swartz (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks with KUOW Olympia correspondent Austin Jenkins about lawmakers' progress to a budget deal. 

Budget negotiations have stalled with just a few days left in the Washington legislature’s 105-day session. The clock runs out on Sunday.

The Washington House and Senate will soon begin to negotiate a new two-year budget, but first they have to get past a roadblock.

Flickr Photo/clappstar (CC BY-NC-ND)

David Hyde talks with the chair of Washington's Senate Education Committee, Senator Steve Litzow, about how the legislature will respond to the state supreme court's warning that education spending is not increasing fast enough.

KUOW Photo/Ann Dornfeld

Twice as many Washington kids will get free, full-day kindergarten this fall.

The new state budget pays for all-day kindergarten in 269 more schools across the state, including eight schools in Seattle.

It was the legislative equivalent of a buzzer beater. Just as the Washington legislature was about to adjourn last month, the House and Senate quickly passed a series of tax breaks mostly for businesses. They included exemptions for dance clubs, mint growers, dairy products and this one: digital data used by international investment firms.

That last one will largely benefit a single global firm – Seattle-based Russell Investments. This tax break passed despite efforts to close these kinds of loopholes.

Washington’s $100 Million Land Purchase In Upper Kittitas County

Jul 2, 2013
Flickr Photo/Jay Inslee

Yesterday, Governor Inslee put the final stamp of approval on one of the biggest land purchases Washington state has ever seen. The state budget includes $100 million for 50,000 acres in Upper Kittitas County, at the headwater of the Yakima River Basin. Officials say protecting this land will be a big step towards securing water supplies in the region. Ross Reynolds talks with columnist Joel Connelly about the significance of this land purchase.

Transportation Package Fails To Pass

Jul 1, 2013

  The Washington state legislature failed to pass a transportation package this past weekend. With the recent collapse of the Skagit Bridge at the forefront of our minds, we take a look at what this means for current and future transportation projects in the state. Ross Reynolds hears from Dan O'Neal, the chairman of the Washington State Transportation Committee.

This Week In Olympia With Austin Jenkins

Jun 28, 2013
Flickr Photo/Harvey Barrison

  The Washington state legislature finally came to a budget proposal this week, narrowly avoiding a massive government shutdown. What held them up? How will the new budget cover the increases in education spending mandated by the state supreme court? Ross Reynolds talks about that and other state news with KUOW’s Olympia correspondent, Austin Jenkins.

Weekday's “News in Review” roundtable comes together to talk over the week’s news.

It was a big week at the Supreme Court. The justices struck down provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and decided the federal Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional. A filibuster by Wendy Davis rocked the Texas legislature, stopping a vote on an abortion bill. The bill will be revisited in the second special session Gov. Rick Perry called.

Washington's own legislature's second session budget problems still divide the floor; but issues will need to be resolved soon to avoid a government shut down on July 1.

What stories caught your attention? What hasn’t been covered enough? What story made your blood boil? Share your thoughts with the panel right now by emailing Weekday.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee says a budget deal in Olympia is “imminent” – even as state workers start to receive layoff notices. At a news conference Monday afternoon, the Democrat reported significant breakthroughs in budget negotiations.

A shutdown of state government is now one week away. That’s why temporary layoff notices are going out to state employees. That’s a requirement of labor contracts. Governor Inslee says he feels “enormous frustration” there wasn’t a budget deal in time to avert the notices.