2015 Legislative Session
May 29, 2015
The clock ran out yesterday on a 30-day special session called by Governor Inslee following the conclusion of the regular session on April 24 without a biennial state budget being adopted by legislators. The Republican-led Senate and Democrat-led House of Representatives each laid out their budget proposals during the regular session and budget negotiations between the two chambers have been underway during the special session. However, at this point it is unclear when legislators will find agreement and vote on the final 2015-17 operating and capital budgets.
Governor Inslee announced yesterday afternoon that he will call legislators into another 30-day special session beginning today for the purpose of approving the budget. The existing 2013-15 state budget expires on July 1, meaning that the next 30 days is a crucial period for legislators in order to avert a partial state government shutdown by approving a new budget by the end of June.
Last week the Washington State Economic and Revenue Forecast Council announced that it expects the state to collect approximately $400 million more in tax revenue over the next two years than previously anticipated. This change in projected revenue is positive news that may help legislators reach a final budget deal. However, with the biennial operating budget expected to total in the $38 billion range, there remain many complexities and decisions that legislators must grapple with.
Until next time, go Vikings!