Washington state budget

  The Washington legislature reconvenes Monday for a 30-day special session. But there’s still no budget deal in sight – despite a two week break to negotiate.

Senate budget chair Andy Hill, a Republican, says both sides are “working in good faith.” But “true negotiations” have yet to begin. That’s because the House, Senate and governor are still working to agree on the basic assumptions for the next two year budget.

The Washington legislature has adjourned after a 105-day session. The final gavels fell just after 6 p.m. Sunday night.

“The 2013 regular session of the 63rd legislature is adjourned Sine Die," declared Lt. Gov. Brad Owen to applause.

But the adjournment won’t last long. Governor Jay Inslee immediately called a special session for two weeks from now because the House and Senate failed to come to agreement on a two-year budget. 

Governor Jay Inslee is like the gambler. He says it would take an “inside straight” for the legislature to complete its work by Sunday’s deadline. 

Happy Birthday State Parks! Let's Hope This Budget Doesn't Kill You

Apr 15, 2013
Flickr Photo/Flickstorage

It’s the 100th birthday of Washington's state park system, but it may not be a happy one. Washington’s parks started off this year with zero dollars from the state. While both the Senate and House budget proposals give more than $15 million to our state parks, the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission says under the Senate’s budget the doors to some state parks will likely close.

This Week In Olympia With Austin Jenkins

Apr 12, 2013
Washington state capitol
Flickr Photo/Alan Cordova (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Three budgets walk into a news cycle, but only one budget will leave. Ross Reynolds talks with Olympia correspondent Austin Jenkins about the latest from our lawmakers in Olympia. 

Would A Budget By Any Other Name Not Smell As Sweet?

Apr 11, 2013
Flickr Photo/401(K) 2013

Governor Inslee released his budget proposal a couple weeks ago, and then came the Washington Senate budget. Yesterday the House released their budget and today Ross Reynolds talks with Representative Ross Hunter about how the House budget differs from the Senate and gubernatorial budget plans. 

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington House Democrats have unveiled a proposed two-year budget that looks a lot like Governor Jay Inslee’s. It would renew expiring tax hikes, close several tax exemptions and put the new money into public schools.

House Democrats would actually spend a tad more than the governor. But their approach is very similar. For example: extend an expiring tax on beer and end the sales tax exemption for bottled water and shoppers from sales tax free Oregon.

OLYMPIA, Wash - Oregon shoppers in Washington would pay sales tax and bottled water would be taxed under a proposal from Governor Jay Inslee to raise $1.2B in additional money for public schools.

Inslee, a Democrat, proposed Thursday to end or modify a dozen tax exemptions, extend two expiring tax hikes, and cut back by 25-percent a favorable tax rate that many businesses enjoy.

NPR's Ira Flatow: Science Is Sexy

Mar 20, 2013
Ira Flatow
Courtesy Ira Flatow

Is science sexy? Public radio and TV journalist Ira Flatow thinks so. Every week, he turns scientific discoveries into conversation pieces on his radio program Science Friday. In his talk “Science is Sexy,” he argues that museums, zoos, TV shows and films have overtaken formal education as the main ways people learn about science. Whether it’s the Mars rover or the Large Hadron Collider, scientific research is a hot commodity. Is popular science good for science as a whole?

Your Take On The News

Mar 15, 2013

It's Friday — time to review the week's top news stories with Knute Berger, Eli Sanders and C.R. Douglas. A federal judge approved a first-year plan to reform the Seattle Police Department. Meanwhile, the plan was challenged in court by the Seattle Police Officer's Guild and the Seattle Police Management Association, over concerns about collective bargaining rights.

Also, a bill that would expand background checks for gun owners died in the state House. And the state's budget shortfall grew by $300 million. What stories were you following this week? Call us at 800.289.5869 or write to weekday@kuow.org.

The Northwest's public universities pull in massive amounts of federal research dollars. It totaled $1 billion last year at the University of Washington. Oregon State University won close to $200 million in federal research funds. The University of Idaho is counting on $100 million this year. So it's no surprise that university administrators are hanging on every scrap of news about imminent automatic federal budget cuts.

House Democrats Want To Rev Up The Gas Tax

Feb 22, 2013

House Democrats are proposing to raise the gas tax by 10 cents, to 47.5 cents a gallon, within five years, to pay for a $10 billion transportation package. The plan was introduced earlier this week by State Representative Judy Clibborn, D-Mercer Island, who chairs the House Transportation Committee. 

Ross Reynolds talks to Clibborn and  Sen. Tim Sheldon, a Democrat representing the 35th District, which includes all of Mason County and parts of Thurston, Kitsap and Grays Harbor counties.  He’s one of two Senate Democrats to join with Republicans to form a majority coalition this legislative session.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – We’re starting to see real world fallout from some of the state budget cuts made in last few years. One of the clearest examples in Washington is juvenile parole. It turns out that the chief suspect in a recent high profile bar shooting had committed a previous murder – but did not qualify for intensive parole supervision because of cutbacks. One study finds juveniles who don’t receive parole are far more likely to be re-arrested within nine months of their release.

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