We seem to be getting close to finalizing a budget – which would be great, given today is June 30th, the last day of the fiscal year, and the day a budget needs to pass in order to not have a partial shutdown of state government!
The House and Senate are being briefed on the budget, and it is expected to be voted on before midnight. Remembering that “it’s not over ‘til it’s over”, the day/night could be filled with many ups and downs. You can take a look at the proposed operating budget at fiscal.wa.gov.
On the bill front, the House passed HB 1661, the bill establishing the Department of Children, Youth, and Families, for the fourth time yesterday with a very good bi-partisan vote! It is now back in the Senate, where it will hopefully be passed today! The Senate passed SB 5890, the Foster Care and Adoption Support bill, and it is expected that the House will pass it today. Both the Senate and House passed HB 1624 yesterday, so it should be on its way to the Governor soon! HB 1624 is the bill that allows child welfare involved children to remain in their childcare program for 12 months, even if their child welfare case has been closed. The bill has been before the legislature previously (the past two sessions), so it was very good news to have it pass this session!
Keep your fingers crossed that the budget passes by midnight! It will take some time to go through it and do an analysis of what’s in it and what's not in it. Our goal is to have something posted by July 7th… And if not, shortly thereafter!
Send positive thoughts to Olympia!
Have a good weekend!
Public Policy Director