Washington state budget | KUOW News and Information

Washington state budget

The clock is running out on Washington’s 60-day legislative session. House Democrats and Senate Republicans have until Thursday at midnight to approve an update to the state’s two-year budget. But first they need to agree on the details.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has a blunt warning for state lawmakers:

“Your bills are going to get vetoed if you don’t do your job and pass a budget.”

The stage is set in Olympia for a fight over eliminating tax breaks and whether to dip into the state’s rainy day fund. House Democrats say ‘yes’ to both. Senate Republicans say ‘no’.

Washington lawmakers plan to tap the state’s rainy day fund to pay for last summer’s devastating wildfires. But legislative Democrats said several other crises also deserve immediate funding.

Before they left town, Washington lawmakers approved a nearly $4 billion capital construction budget. That includes $130 million in member-requested projects – what you might call pork.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed a new two-year budget into law just before midnight Tuesday averting a partial government shutdown.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee will sign a new two-year budget into law Tuesday, just in time to avert a partial government shutdown.

Marcie Sillman talks with KUOW Olympia correspondent Austin Jenkins about the budget deal and whether or not we'll avoid a state shutdown.

Washington lawmakers still have time to get a budget deal and avert a partial government shutdown July 1.

Washington House Democrats are moving forward with a plan to eliminate several tax exemptions, but they don’t yet have buy-in from Senate Republicans.

Ross Reynolds talks with KUOW Olympia corespondent Austin Jenkins about the upcoming "do or die week" for state lawmakers to finish the budget. 

There’s still no budget deal in Olympia, but Washington House Democrats said Friday they’re willing to drop their push for a state capital gains tax.

Washington lawmakers have until the 30-day special session runs out on June 27 to reach a budget deal. If they fail to do so, a partial government shutdown would begin on July 1.

If Washington lawmakers don’t have a budget by the end of the month, state government will shut down. But it would only be a partial shutdown.

Budget negotiators continue to meet at the Washington capitol, but there’s still no deal on a spending plan for the next two years.

Marcie Sillman talks with KUOW Olympia correspondent Austin Jenkins about budget progress at the state.

Washington House Democrats are doubling down on their pitch for a state capital gains tax while Republicans are reiterating their no-new-taxes mantra.

Flickr Photo/Tony Swartz (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with KUOW Olympia correspondent Austin Jenkin, about the third session for lawmakers this year.

To raise or not to raise taxes? That is the question that’s pushing Washington lawmakers into a second 30-day special session.

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.

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.