House passes budget accelerating funding of teacher salaries. Still relies on controversial capital gains tax.

In yesterday’s newsletter we wrote that the striking amendment introduced by Rep. Timm Ormsby, House Appropriations Committee chair, moved the House and Senate budgets closer together. 

Assuming passage of the House budget with the chair’s striking amendment, the two chambers are now much closer together on the significant issue of accelerating teacher pay increases. The Washington Research Council writes
…Appropriations chair Timm Ormsby has now introduced a striking amendment to the budget passed by Appropriations on Wednesday…

The two biggest changes are that it would fully fund the school staff salary increases in SY 2018-19 ($775.4 million) and it would change the school district apportionment schedule (saving $609.1 million). Both the budget passed by the Senate Ways & Means Committee and the budget proposed by Gov. Inslee would fully fund the salary increases, and Gov. Inslee’s proposal would also make the apportionment change.
The House did pass its budget yesterday (50-46 with 2 excused). Here’s the outlook. The House Democrats write on their website,

In what will be a critical component to putting the state in full compliance with the Supreme Court’s McCleary ruling, the House of Representatives approved a supplemental two-year operating budget proposal that invests nearly $1 billion in additional teacher compensation funding by a vote of 50–46.

“We comply with the most recent Supreme Court order by fully funding school employee compensation over this next year,” said House Majority Leader Rep. Pat Sullivan, D-Covington…

The state Senate approved their proposed budget on Friday. Budget leads from the House and Senate will work over the remaining days of the legislative session to resolve differences in the two budget proposals.

The House budget relies on a controversial capital gains tax; the Senate budget required no new taxes. The latest revenue forecast, adding $1.3 billion in anticipated collections, makes new or increased taxes unnecessary. Senate Democratic leaders have said they don’t believe that have the votes to pass the tax. With just 9 days left in the regular session, pursuit of the new tax, as we’ve written, seems particularly quixotic.