Yesterday the Washington Legislature ended the first special session of the 2015 regular legislative session. While lawmakers were successful in passing a transportation budget, they did not reach agreement on a biennial operating or capital budget and several policy bills that would be necessary to implement the budgets proposed this session.
Governor Inslee immediately announced a special session to begin this morning. The Legislature will have 30 days to complete their work. In addition the Governor firmly asked negotiators to move their discussions to his office for face-to-face daily meetings instead of exchanging budgets via paper.
On Thursday afternoon the Senate released a revised operating budget that they argue makes progress on several concerns raised by the House including keeping institutions whole with regard to the proposed tuition reduction, holding private non-profit institutions harmless in the State Need Grant program, and increasing funding for compensation.
The House, who will release their counteroffer on Monday and hold a public hearing on Tuesday, expressed concern about a lack of funding for mental health ($50 million), early learning ($115 million) and support for teacher COLAs ($154 million) in the Senate’s latest proposal.
Next Thursday marks the halfway point in special session.The thirty day special session that convened on April 29 is scheduled to end on May 28.
This week budget writers met for two days to discuss and brief on the more than 1,000 differences between the two budgets. Leadership shared that at this point budget writers are going through the budget, identifying differences and determining where decisions will be required to reach a compromise.
Within the multitude of differences, the Legislature must reach agreement on several big policy and funding issues including support for K-12 basic education and mental health and then how to support these funds, which inserts a conservation around revenue.
In an effort to assist these conversations there is a bipartisan effort to push for an early revenue forecast to determine if the state will collect more revenue. The next revenue forecast is scheduled for mid-June, which many policymakers recognize is too late.
While there is no floor action scheduled to date, next week a handful of House and Senate Committees are scheduled to meet. In the House this includes a public hearing on Thursday in House Appropriations to discuss a new approach to the Governor’s proposed cap-and-trade plan and on Wednesday a public hearing in House Finance on a capital gains tax proposal. The Senate Higher Education Committee will convene on Thursday, as well, for a work session on transfer between institutions and sectors.
Last week marked the beginning of a 30-day special session following the completion of the 2015 regular session at the end of April. The first few days of special session saw some action, which is a schedule that is likely to follow this week.
The House and Senate are scheduled for pro forma sessions the first part of this week. There are no House committees scheduled to date to meet this week, and only a handful are expected to meet in the Senate at the end of the week.
Today is the first day of a 30-day special session. The Legislature faces major issues in the next month including biennial operating, capital and transportation budgets and policy legislation necessary to implement the budget.
Last Friday the Legislature adjourned the 2015 regular session. Governor Inslee requested negotiators return earlier this week to continue budget negotiations.
The first week of the session will be a mix of negotiations and committee meetings. Budget writers and leadership are expected to brief their caucuses today and the fiscal committees are scheduled for public hearings today and tomorrow.
Next week marks the beginning of the special session. The Governor announced a special session to begin on April 29.
A handful of legislators – leadership and budget writers – will be invited by the Governor for negotiations on Monday.
For the rest of the members it is unclear when they will be asked to return to Olympia for committee and floor work.
So where do things stand with regard to getting out of town for good.
The House and Senate have each passed a biennial operating and capital budget proposal. Negotiations between leaders and budget writers will continue.
A special session returns all policy bills to their chamber of origin and they are eligible for further consideration.
This evening the Washington Legislature ended the 2015 regular legislative session. The regular session ended without the passage of a biennial operating, capital or transportation budget or several policy bills that would be necessary to implement the budgets proposed this session.
Governor Inslee immediately announced a special session to begin April 29. The Legislature will have 30 days to complete their work.
This morning the Washington Senate confirmed David Nicandri to The Evergreen State College Board of Trustees.
The Senate voted 47-0 in favor of Nicandri’s confirmation.
Earlier today Governor Inslee shared with policymakers that he would call a special session to begin on April 29.
The focus of the 30 day special session will be to complete major work that was left undone during the regular session. This includes completion of a biennial operating, capital and transportation budget.
The regular session officially ends on Sunday evening. The Governor is expected to issue a formal proclamation for the special session tomorrow.
The Senate and House continue to focus on advancing legislation to the Governor’s desk. Both chambers have concurred or sent bills to conference in hopes of passing them before the regular session is scheduled to adjourn on Sunday.
On the budget front negotiations have stalled. The Legislature will go into special session, the question is when. Once the regular session adjourns then the decision will be whether the Governor calls the Legislature back right away or sends them home for a while. Once the Governor does call the Legislature back, the special session is scheduled for 30 days. The Legislature can adjourn early from the special session if their work is completed or take the full 30 days. If the Legislature exceeds the 30 days then another special session will need to be called.
Next week marks the last week of the regular session. The regular session will end on April 26. While there is always hope it seems more and more likely a special session will follow the regular session.
A handful of legislators – leadership and budget writers – will work over the weekend and through the week to negotiate a final biennial operating, capital and transportation budget.
For the rest of the members the week will include a combination of time on the floor and in committee. While the Senate has little committee work scheduled to date beyond the fiscal committee, the House – in addition to the fiscal work -will hold a series of policy committee meetings throughout the week to discuss interim planning.
On Tuesday morning the House Higher Education will hold an interim planning session.
So where do things stand with regard to getting out of town for good.
The House and Senate have each passed a biennial operating and capital budget proposal. Negotiations between leaders and budget writers began last week and will continue until an agreement has been reached.
The House Appropriations Committee will meet on Monday morning to consider additional legislation. The Senate Ways & Means Committee met this morning to consider legislation to fund basic education in Washington and is scheduled to meet Monday afternoon to consider revenue proposals. The House Finance and Capital Budget Committees are scheduled to meet next Friday.