Legislature passes biennial budget; Governor set to sign this afternoon

They made it. Lawmakers yesterday adopted the state budget agreement negotiated over the weekend. The Associated Press reports that Gov. Jay Inslee will sign the budget this afternoon

Gov. Jay Inslee is expected to sign a $38.2 billion two-year state operating budget that cuts tuition for college students and puts more money toward the state’s K-12 education system.

Inslee is set to sign the plan Tuesday afternoon, just hours before the end of the current two-year fiscal cycle.

The budget passed the Senate 38-10 and the House 90-8.
 The two-year state budget approved by the Legislature Monday night provides a rare tuition cut for college students, raises teacher pay and ends a handful of tax exemptions and preferential tax rates to add new revenue…
The agreement adds an estimated $1.3 billion to K-12 education, including money to reduce class sizes in grades K-3, expand full-day kindergarten and cover other school costs.
There’s still no agreement on how to handle I-1351, the class size reduction mandate.
The adopted budget includes some changes in tax policy. From the Olympian:

The compromise budget proposal excludes previous tax proposals floated by House Democrats, including a capital gains tax and an increase in some business taxes. But it includes about $185 million in revenue over the next two years from closing some tax exemptions and increasing penalties for those who file late business tax returns, concessions made by Senate Republicans.

The budget relies on revenue that would come from – among other sources – ending tax breaks for software manufacturers and expanding the state’s ability to tax out-of-state retailers and wholesalers. About $300 million in projected revenue from retail marijuana sales also is used to balance the budget, along with about $178 million in transfers from other accounts.

[Sen. Andy] Hill called the revenue measures “sound tax policy.”

More detailed reports on the budget will be published in the next few weeks. The Washington Research Council provides a useful overview. Additional news coverage in Crosscut and the Spokesman-Review.