One of the main tasks lawmakers faced this year was updating the operating budget that pays for the day-to-day costs of running state government.
Since we work on two-year budgets, this year provided a chance to address emergencies, one-time issues that came about since the original budget was approved last June, and make targeted investments in areas of greatest need.
This year’s plan received broad bipartisan support and makes additional investments to improve mental health treatment and care, better train and recruit teachers, address a rise in homelessness especially for students, sustain the historic tuition cuts at state colleges and universities and pay for the costs of last summer’s wildfires.
Just as importantly we did this without raising taxes on Washington families.
The Senate also demanded compliance with our incredibly important four-year balanced budget requirement that prevents the use of budget gimmicks and short-term spending increases that we don’t have the resources to pay for in the long-term.
This actually puts us in a better position to make meaningful investments in education and other state priorities next year when we write a new two-year budget.