Budget amendments adopted by Ways & Means include added funds for HEN, ECEAP and medical schools

Yesterday SB 5048, the 2017–19 operating budget bill, was passed out of the Senate Ways & Means Committee. Here’s a broad overview of the proposal as introduced, and here are more details.

More from the Senate budget proposal

The Senate Ways & Means Chair presented his 2017–19 operating budget proposal yesterday. I provided some highlights yesterday. Today the committee is expected to act on the budget bill (SB 5048) in executive session.

Senate Chair’s budget proposal would increase state spending by $4.8 billion

The Senate Ways & Means Committee’s chair has released his 2017–19 operating budget proposal. (There will be a public hearing on the proposal this afternoon.) Under the proposal, near general fund–state plus opportunity pathways (NGFS+) spending would increase by $4.814 billion over the 2015–17 biennium. NGFS+ spending would total $43.268 billion for the biennium. Of the increase, $3.742 billion would go to public schools.

Could Washington get a tax court?

Last week Senators Brown, Hobbs, Braun, Mullet, Frockt and Warnick introduced SB 5866, which would create a tax court. Additionally, Senators Brown, Hobbs, Braun, Mullet, Fain and Warnick introduced SJR 8209, which would amend the constitution to authorize the tax court.

Bill to avert levy cliff includes levy accountability provisions

Currently school districts are allowed to levy maintenance and operation (M&O) levies of up to 28 percent of their state and federal revenues. That maximum is scheduled to revert to 24 percent in 2018. This is the levy cliff.

How technology has improved produce

Specialty crops are an important part of Washington’s agricultural economy.

The House’s education funding plan would cost much more than the Senate’s

The state released its fiscal note of SSB 5607 (the Senate-passed education funding bill) on Friday. It shows a substantial gap between the resources needed to fund the Senate and House plans.

Policy issues on the Seattle horizon

Earlier this week the Seattle City Council approved its 2017 work program (via Seattle City Council Insight). Although details are scant, the program provides some idea of the issues councilmembers want to work on this year. Much of the program is carried over from last year, but there are several new items of interest.

New brief: Comparing the Education Funding Proposals

There are now four major education funding plans circulating: Gov. Inslee's proposal, the House-passed ESHB 1843, the Senate-passed SSB 5607, and SB 5825 (a proposal from Sen. Mullet).

In a new policy brief, we provide a side-by-side comparison of the four plans. Briefly:

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