Washington legislators passed a budget deal with a handshake Thursday morning between Democratic House Appropriations Chairman Ross Hunter and Republican Senate Ways and Means Chairman Andy Hill. The details were sorted over the rest of the day, and released in the wee hours of the morning. Governor Jay Inslee signed the budget on Sunday, the day after the legislature adjourned.
If the deal had not been reached, about 26,000 government employees would have been temporarily laid off on Monday. Lawmakers were at loggerheads until a new tax revenue projection gave them $320 million more to work with. The new, two-year budget is $33.6 billion, up by roughly $2.5 billion from the last biennial budget.
As part of the compromise, Democrats — who control the governorship and the House — dropped their demands for increased tax revenue and Senate Republicans gave up their calls to alter workers’ comp.
Another contentious piece of legislation, funding for the Columbia River Crossing, died when Senate Republicans and their two Democratic allies didn’t even call a vote.
Are you a Washington voter? What did you think of the legislature’s performance this term?