Washington Legislative Update: Budget Passed, but Special Session Continues

After concluding their second special session last week, the Washington State Legislature returned to Olympia on Sunday to begin a third special session. While Governor Inslee and leadership from both the House and Senate reached a deal on a two-year operating budget Tuesday, and avoided a partial government shutdown, work remains on a statewide a transportation package and capital construction budget.

The legislature is also working on a vote to delay the implementation of Initiative 1351, which calls for reduced class sizes in K-12 classrooms and was approved by voters in November. The vote would require a two-thirds majority.  Also in process is a plan to reform local property tax levies per the state supreme court’s McCleary decision.

The two-year state budget provides a tuition cut for college students, raises teacher pay and ends a handful of tax exemptions and preferential tax rates to add new revenue.

The budget ends the preferential B&O tax rate for royalty income, repeals a tax break for software manufacturers, and increases penalties for late tax payments to the Department of Revenue.

While there was no threat to the state chartered credit union B&O tax exemption, the budget does sweep reserves from DFI’s Financial Services Regulation Fund in the amount of almost $5.5 million. The Association continues to oppose the sweeping of DFI reserves as it could affect the operations of the Division of Credit Unions, or result in fee increases for credit unions. It was DFI’s opinion that the sweeping of their reserves would not require an increase in fees.

Questions about this story? Contact James Pearson: 206.340.4790, jpearson@nwcua.org.

Posted in Advocacy News.