UPDATE: Tentative Agreement Between Senate & House

But contingency plans being worked on in case an agreement is not reached...


Bill Clarke



While reports surfaced last Friday of a tentative agreement between Senate and House budget leaders on the spending level for the 2015-17 State Budget, legislators this week disavowed such an agreement.  With recent increases in forecasted revenue over the next two years, the Senate and House are only about $500 million apart, with House budget negotiators seeking spending of $38.4 billion, including new tax revenue of about $500 million, while the Senate budget stays within the $37.9 billion in forecasted revenue and no tax increases.  Both House and Senate budget fund basic education at about the same level, as necessary to comply with the State Supreme Court’s McCleary decision.  While Governor Inslee and House budget leaders have considered a number of tax proposals during 2015, a new state capital gains income tax seems be their top choice.  State agencies and legislative staff are now working on contingency plans in case a new state budget is not reached by the July 1 beginning of the new fiscal year.  For recent insight into the political dynamics in Olympia on spending, taxes, and other major political issues this session - see Seattle Times’ columnist Danny Westneat’s recent column here:  http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/how-a-more-moderate-gop-dominated-the-legislative-session/  

 

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