Washington State Legislature

paid family leave
12:37 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

House indefinitely postpones paid family leave measure

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The House has approved a measure that indefinitely delays implementation of an as-of-yet unfunded law giving Washington state parents five weeks of paid time off to be with a new child until the Legislature finds a way to pay for it.

The bill was approved Friday on a 70-19 vote and now heads to the Senate.

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transportation package
2:23 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

On second try, state House passes gas tax measure

Rachel La Corte Associated Press

The Washington House has approved a $10 billion transportation package that includes a 10.5 cent gas tax increase over two years. The vote Thursday followed a failed effort Wednesday to approve the same measure. 

It was a rare do-over vote on the House floor. And State Representative Marko Liias, a Democrat, acknowledged as much.

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state budget
11:37 am
Thu June 27, 2013

Gov't shutdown averted: Gov. announces budget deal

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Washington Gov. Jay Inslee says a government shutdown on Monday has been averted. The Democrat announced a budget deal Thursday that comes just in the nick of time. Monday is the start of a new fiscal year and without a signed budget much of state government would have been shuttered.

“The deal reached today makes it clear that state government will continue to operate. We will be notifying all state employees to be at work on Monday, July 1. Government operations will not be interrupted," the governor said. 

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state budget
2:32 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Senate leaders say state budget deal reached

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Leaders in the Washington state Senate say lawmakers have agreed to the framework of a new budget to avert a government shutdown.

Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom said Wednesday that negotiators have settled on the major components of the budget, allowing staff to go through the process of officially writing it. He expects lawmakers will be able to vote on the spending plan Thursday or early Friday.

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state budget
9:26 am
Tue June 25, 2013

State budget talks now focused on smaller details

<< Jonny Boy >> Flickr

Negotiators in Olympia have agreed to the large components of a new state budget and are now working through the smaller details.

A spokeswoman for Gov. Jay Inslee said Tuesday there have been no setbacks in the talks and that lawmakers are close to agreement on a final deal. Inslee had said Monday that a deal was imminent and hoped it would have been finalized within hours.

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government shutdown
2:10 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

Inslee confident budget deal imminent

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee says he is confident that a budget deal is imminent.

Inslee said Monday afternoon that he has seen "very significant breakthroughs" in recent budget talks. He says lawmakers should be able to reach a final agreement very quickly.

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state budget
6:37 pm
Sun June 23, 2013

With no budget deal, state just 1 week away from gov't shutdown

Washington state is now just one week away from a government shutdown after no deal emerged Sunday.

Since a budget vote is not likely before midnight, thousands of state workers will be given layoff notices tomorrow.

They will be temporarily laid off if there is no budget deal over the next seven days. 

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government shutdown
4:44 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

State budget talks heat up, gov't shutdown details emerge

From left to right, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee's Chief of Staff Mary Alice Heuschel, Julie Murray from the Office of Financial Management, and Inslee's general counsel, Nicholas Brown, listen to a question from the media about contingency plans for a pote
Rachel La Corte Associated Press

The push is on to reach a final budget deal in Olympia. Top legislative leaders met Thursday in an attempt to bridge their final differences.

Meanwhile, we’re starting to get a clearer picture of what a government shutdown on July 1 would look like if no agreement is reached.

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state budget
11:24 am
Tue June 18, 2013

Positive revenue news could break budget logjam in Olympia

There’s suddenly a flurry of talk in Olympia about a quick resolution to the weeks-long budget stalemate. The change in rhetoric follows Tuesday’s positive revenue and caseload forecasts.

Budget writers will now have more than $300 million in additional funds to help bridge their differences, thanks to a recovering housing market and improved consumer confidence.

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Washington Budget
2:09 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Government shutdown? Prisons would stay open, but much of the state would not

Office of the Governor

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 3:10 pm

Washington prisons would stay open, but much of the state would not if there’s a government shutdown. Governor Jay Inslee met with his cabinet Wednesday to begin contingency planning if there’s no budget by the end of the month. That’s the start of the new fiscal year.

“We’re not talking about opening the prison doors because there are clear federal mandates from the federal constitution and federal laws to provide for folks that are in our care and custody,” says Nick Brown, the Governor’s attorney.

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Washington Budget
11:09 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Washington estate tax refunds halted after midnight bill signing

Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 3:16 pm

There were dramatic developments in Olympia overnight. Governor Jay Inslee held a midnight bill signing to amend Washington’s estate tax. The move means the Department of Revenue will not begin to issue refund checks Friday morning to the heirs of some multi-million dollar estates.

The state of Washington was about to embark on a months-long process of refunding an estimated $140 million to more than 100 estates. This was the result of a Supreme Court ruling earlier this year. The money would have come out of a fund dedicated to public schools.

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Washington Legislature
3:15 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Washington Legislature Convenes Second Special Session

Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 2:41 pm

The opening gavel has once again fallen in the Washington legislature.

"The second extraordinary session of the 63rd legislature will now be in order,” said a deadpan Lt. Governor Brad Owen Wednesday morning in the state Senate.

The second overtime session is necessary because lawmakers have yet to find agreement on a budget for the next two years. Taxes and controversial policy measures are the chief hang ups.

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Washington Legislature
11:45 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Inslee Announces Second Special Session, Prepares For Government Shutdown

Christina Salerno TVW

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 3:46 pm

Washington Governor Jay Inslee will call lawmakers back into a second special session beginning at 9:00 a.m. Wednesday. He’s also beginning preparations for a government shutdown on July 1 if there’s no deal by then.

The moves come as the 30th and final day of the first overtime session comes and goes with still no budget deal.

At a news conference, Democrat Inslee blamed the stalemate on the mostly Republican Senate Majority for insisting on several controversial policy measures he says are unrelated to the budget.

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State Budget
9:01 am
Mon June 10, 2013

Time Is Nearly Up For Washington Budget Deal

Cacophony Wikimedia

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 7:55 am

Washington’s overtime legislative session ends at midnight on Tuesday. But there’s still no agreement on a state budget for the next two years.

Over the weekend, the mostly Republican senate majority passed a revised version of its own spending plan, along with a trio of controversial policy measures.

The three policy bills are not new, the Senate passed them during the regular session. The difference is two of them now have referendum clauses, meaning voters would get the final say.

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Washington Legislature
9:58 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Washington Senate majority back to 25 members

Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 3:35 pm

The Washington Senate’s coalition caucus has reclaimed its majority status. Republican Steve O’Ban was sworn in Wednesday. He fills the seat of the late Mike Carrell who died last week during treatment of a pre-leukemia condition.

O’Ban’s appointment was fast-tracked in order to restore the mostly Republican coalition’s one vote majority during final budget negotiations.

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