Washingtonvotes news

Lawmakers far apart on budget deal; 2nd special session starts Friday, May 29th

May 30, 2015 in Blog

State lawmakers passed a $7.6 billion maintenance transportation budget, House Bill 1299, with near-unanimous votes during the last days of the special legislative session, but they remain far from agreement on an overall state spending plan for 2015-17

Special session at halfway mark as budget talks continue; Governor's cap and trade tax considered; and two lawmakers move to impeach the State Auditor

May 13, 2015 in Blog

Today is the 15th day of the 30-day special session that started on April 29th in Olympia, State lawmakers are continuing work on forging a 2015-17 spending plan, a transportation budget and education funding reforms.

Regular legislative session set to end early; governor calls lawmakers back for 30-day special session to begin next Wednesday

April 24, 2015 in Blog

Legislative leaders announced they will wrap up this year’s regular 105-day session two days early, on Friday, April 24th. Lawmakers will be back in Olympia on Wednesday, April 29th, however, to begin a 30-day special session called by the governor.

Lawmakers forced into special session as budget talks stall; state Treasurer proposes state income tax

April 22, 2015 in Blog

This year’s regular legislative session ends Sunday, and while lawmakers will send several dozen more bills to the governor for his signature, they have not reached an agreement on a budget to keep the government operating over the next two years.  Remaining issues include transportation spending and basic education funding.

Legislative leaders now say they must go to a special session. Governor Inslee may call lawmakers back immediately, or wait for leader to complete behind-the-scenes negotiations first. 

State lawmakers introduce new education funding bills as budget talks stall

April 17, 2015 in Blog

House and Senate budget writers met this week to work on a compromise spending plan for 2015-17. The Senate passed a no-new-taxes proposal that would spend about $37.8 billion, while the House-passed plan calls for $38.8 billion that would require nearly $1.5 billion in additional taxes, including a tax on capital gains and a tax increase on service businesses.

As session end nears, lawmakers pass hundreds of bills, schools chief proposes last-minute $2.2 billion education funding plan and House unveils transportation tax proposal

April 15, 2015 in Blog

Lawmakers rushed to pass hundreds of pieces of legislation ahead of today’s deadline for advancing most bills passed by the opposite chamber. Some 300 bills have passed both houses to date, and 60 measures have been sent to the governor for his signature.

House passes transportation budget and turns to possible tax increases; anti-ticket scalping bill goes to the Governor

April 10, 2015 in Blog

With just over two weeks to go in the scheduled legislative session, state lawmakers spent long hours this week voting on dozens of bills. Measures not related to the state budget must pass both chambers by next Wednesday to remain viable.

On Thursday, House members passed a proposed transportation budget for 2015-17 by a 78-19 vote. The measure, House Bill 1299, would spend $7.7 billion in existing revenues. It includes provisions to repave nearly 2,100 miles of state highways and repair up to 50 structurally deficient bridges.

Senate passes no-new-taxes budget; House passes budget, but members avoid floor votes on tax-increase bills

April 8, 2015 in Blog

The Senate voted 26-23 on Monday to approve Senate Bill 5077, a proposed $38 billion spending plan for 2015-17. The proposal includes increases in basic education funding in response to the McCleary court decision, smaller class sizes in grades K-3, a 25% cut in tuition at public colleges and universities, and a $2,000 raise for every state employee.

The Senate-passed plan uses the projected $3 billion in extra revenue the state will receive to increase spending without imposing new taxes.

House Democrats pass budget proposal; Senate Republicans to vote on their preferred version Monday

April 3, 2015 in Blog

Lawmakers in both chambers debated their respective proposals for a 2015-17 state spending plan this week, shortly after unveiling and holding public hearings on them.

The House version promoted by majority Democrats, Substitute House Bill 1106, proposes nearly $39 billion in spending and $1.4 billion in new taxes. It passed after a few hours of debate by a 51-47 party line vote on Thursday. The House did not act, however, on the tax-increase bills needed to pay for the proposal.

House and Senate budget proposals move forward, while minimum wage hike and Governor’s cap and trade proposal appear dead for the year

April 1, 2015 in Blog

Today is the last day for House and Senate committees to advance policy bills from the opposite chamber. Next Tuesday, April 7 is the last day for budget and transportation bills to be voted out of committee. Lawmakers will now focus on passing a two-year budget for 2015-17.  The legislature is scheduled to adjourn for the year in 25 days.

Budget hearing moved to Monday. House Education Committee leaves $40 million in federal funding behind

March 27, 2015 in Blog

The House Appropriations Committee had scheduled a public hearing on the House version of the 2015-17 state operating budget for 1:30 p.m. today—just two hours after presenting it for the first time at a press conference in Olympia. Another meeting was scheduled for Saturday, possibly to pass the proposal out of committee.

In a letter on Wednesday, House Republican leaders urged House Speaker Frank Chopp (D-Seattle) to allow more time for the public to review the hundreds of pages of the budget proposal before a public hearing.

The budgets are coming. House to unveil its version on Friday. Senate to follow next week

March 25, 2015 in Blog

House Democrats announced on Tuesday that they will release their 2015-17 operating budget proposal this Friday, the 75th day of the scheduled 105-day regular legislative session

Oso landslide responder groups first to receive state Medal of Valor under new law

March 20, 2015 in Blog

Lawmakers in the House and Senate this week focused on committee hearings to consider bills sent to them from the opposite chamber, following last week’s legislative cut-off date. Neither chamber held floor votes on legislation.

Members assembled for a joint session on Wednesday to honor people from communities that distinguished themselves during rescue efforts at the Oso landslide disaster one year ago.

Legislators work on budget, education and transportation bills, as “Vapers” and “Zombies” invade Olympia to lobby lawmakers

March 18, 2015 in Blog

After last week’s flurry of last-minute bill actions ahead of a major deadline, House and Senate lawmakers have settled down to a round of committee hearings on bills sent over by the opposite chamber. There are now 323 house bills before the Senate and 348 senate bills before the House. Lawmakers are also working on measures that were not subject to last Wednesday’s cut-off, because they are bills related to revenue and spending

Hundreds of bills die as key deadline passes; lawmakers turn to passing budget and transportation measures

March 13, 2015 in Blog

Lawmakers have introduced 2,338 bills this session.  After Wednesday’s deadline for passing bills out of their house of origin, 323 House Bills and 348 Senate Bills are still eligible for further consideration, not counting budget and transportation matters, which will be taken up later in the 105-day Regular Session that is scheduled to adjourn on April 26th.