Senate-passed budget sets stage for end-game negotiations; Countdown to March 10

UPDATE: The Washington Research Council has released an analysis of the Senate-passed budget

The state Senate passed a supplemental budget bill Friday, paving the way for reconciliation with the House, which had passed its budget Thursday. As the Associated Press reports

Democrats argued during floor debate on the proposal that the budget doesn’t do enough to aid the rising number of homeless students in the state, the mental health system, public schools and more.

Sen. Andy Hill, a Republican from Redmond and the Senate’s main budget writer, repeatedly insisted the supplemental budget is for emergencies, identifying wildfire damage as an example.

In the Spokesman-Review, Jim Camden identifies the next steps.

Budget writers from both chambers must now negotiate a compromise spending plan that can pass by March 10 or face an overtime session. 

Policy changes are a heavy lift in a supplemental budget. As we’ve written, reconcilable differences divide the chambers. Resolving them should not require overtime.