Today is Saturday, April 13, the 90th day of the 105-day legislative session.
Late Friday, the House was debating a Democrat-crafted budget proposal to raise $1.3 billion in new revenue through tax extensions and elimination of tax breaks. A vote was expected later in the evening. House budget writer Rep. Ross Hunter, D-Medina, said that if a floor vote didn’t take place on the House budget Friday, the body would vote on the proposal today.
NEXT WEEK IN THE LEGISLATURE
Closed-door negotiations will take place between House and Senate leaders to reconcile the two chambers’ budget proposals, which vary greatly in their reliance on tax increases as well as in how they approach cuts to social services.
The Senate’s budget proposes no new taxes, while the House would levy taxes on bottled water, as well as extend the state’s beer tax and eliminate 15 tax breaks for businesses. That revenue would go toward K-12 education, which the state Supreme Court has ordered the Legislature to fully fund by 2018.
The GOP-leaning Senate proposes deeper cuts to social services to free up more money for education.
Meeting schedules are in flux throughout the week. Most committees have work sessions on the agenda, and the House and the Senate have floor sessions scheduled every day.
THIS WEEK ON CAMPUS
On Sunday, advocates for child-abuse prevention will bring pinwheels and gather at the Tivoli Fountain as part of Pinwheels for Prevention — an event to raise awareness in the community about child abuse and neglect. Gov. Jay Inslee has proclaimed April as Child Abuse Prevention Month in Washington. The event starts at noon.
Wednesday: The Office of Financial Management and the Office of the Chief Information Officer will hold a fundraising bake sale from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. in the auditorium of the General Administration building.
Thursday: Students from White Bluffs Elementary School in the Richland School District will stage a steel drum band concert in the rotunda of the Legislative Building from 8:30-9:45 a.m.
Friday: Another drumming group from Richland will perform. Students from Tapteal Elementary School will put on a steel drum band performance in the Legislative Building rotunda from noon-1 p.m.Olympian staff report