Washington State Legislature in Double-Overtime

A second special session of the Washington State Legislature was gaveled to order Wednesday, just 17 hours after the first special session ended without agreement on a state budget. Taxpayers could again become familiar with the term “fiscal cliff” if lawmakers don’t agree on a two year budget by June 30—the end of the current fiscal year.

Governor Jay Inslee has directed his Cabinet staff to plan for a possible government shutdown of some services in the event of another budget impasse.

The Legislature went into its first special session May 13 after failing to wrap up its business during the regular 105-day session earlier this year.

“The House and Senate have gotten closer in terms of how much money to spend—the Senate has approved a roughly $33.3 billion budget proposal while the House has passed a $33.6 billion budget—but there is still a lot of disagreement on how to get there,” said Mark Minickiello, vice president of legislative affairs for the Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA).

The House budget assumes the Legislature will pass a bill to get around a state Supreme Court ruling that otherwise could cost the state millions of dollars in estate-tax refunds, while the Senate wants to see three policy bills passed before going along with the House version.

The Senate is looking for movement on bills that would allow principals to have the option of rejecting teachers assigned to their schools, a cap on spending outside of education using a formula based on population growth and the rate of inflation, and a measure passed into law that would allow workers at least 40 years old to have the option of settling part of their worker-compensation claims through structured settlements.

House Democrats oppose all three measures and say the votes aren’t there for the legislation as currently written.

“At this point things are looking ok for credit unions,” said Minickiello. “None of the budget proposals coming out of either house contain anything too concerning. No tax threats and no sweeping of funds from the Financial Services Regulation Fund maintained by the Department of Financial Institutions (DFI).”

 

Questions? Contact a member of the Association’s Legislative Affairs team:

Jennifer Wagner, Vice President of Legislative Advocacy
Mark Minickiello, Vice President of Legislative Affairs
Pam Leavitt, Policy Advisor, Oregon State Advocacy & Grassroots

Posted in Advocacy News.