The state Legislature adopted a supplemental budget late Tuesday night, bringing an end to the special session.
Gov. Inslee praised the agreement.
I appreciate the work of Senate and House budget negotiators to reach a good compromise that legislators were able to support on a bipartisan basis. We’ll have more work to do next year on education, mental health and teacher recruitment. But supplemental budgets are largely about modest adjustments and updates to the two-year budget, and that’s exactly what legislators accomplished.
Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn was less appreciative.
Austin Jenkins reports that lawmakers voted to override the vetoes Gov. Inslee used to prod them toward a budget agreement.
Also Tuesday night, the Washington House followed the lead of the state Senate and voted to override more than two dozen bipartisan bills previously vetoed by Inslee.
The vetoes were punishment for the legislature not getting a budget deal by the end of the 60 day regular session. The last time the Washington legislature overrode a gubernatorial veto was the Defense of Marriage Act in 1998. A two-thirds votes of each chamber is required to override a veto.
The Seattle Times reports on highlights in the adopted supplemental budget.
The agreement adds $191 million in new spending, including money sought by Democrats for homelessness and some funds to begin to address a shortage of K-12 educators.
Also, about $190 million in reserves will pay for costs run up during last year’s record-setting wildfires.
Seattle Times reporter Joseph O’Sullivan also writes,
State lawmakers Tuesday touted their supplemental operating budget agreement for its spending on mental-health and homelessness programs, as well as its protection of rainy-day reserve funds.
But the 352-page document touches on all parts of state policy, and people’s lives.
The comments are his lead to a list of lesser-known provisions in the supplemental, including funding for a collective bargaining agreement with family child-care providers, low-income health care, and a study of the implications of merging two public employee pension systems.
Writing in Crosscut, Tom James reports on some of the give-and-take in endgame negotiations.
Importantly, the compromise follows the four-year balanced budget law.
Supplemental budgets are rarely vehicles for major policy changes; rather, as Inslee said, they’re “largely about modest adjustments and updates.” It took a while, but in the end lawmakers delivered a traditional supplemental budget–a bridge to the more difficult fiscal challenges ahead in 2017.