Partners for Our Children

Happy 4th of July! Welcome to week 25 of the 2015 Legislative Session. Just a brief update today – with more to come after session ends (which unfortunately has not yet happened).

The good news is that the operating and capital budgets were both passed and signed by the Governor before midnight June 30. In addition to not having to shut down government, the operating budget turned out quite well for children and families. We will send a final budget comparison over the next week but for now, here are some of the highlights: 

Additionally, while there are still LEAN cuts ($25 million over the 15-17 biennium) identified across state government, the $15 million LEAN cut specific to DSHS was not included.

So, what’s the holdup in terms of adjourning? There is a bill, HB 2266 that would suspend implementation of I-1351, the class size initiative passed by voters in November. To amend an initiative within the first two years of passage, a 2/3 vote by the House and Senate is required. While the House passed the bill, the Senate, at 6:00am on July 1, did not. Therefore, an approximately $2 billion hole was created in the budget – a hole that, without action by the Legislature with respect to I-1351, will have to be filled. Yikes! The hope is that they will reach an agreement soon and truly wrap up for 2015. Stay tuned!

A final update will be sent when the Legislature adjourns. If there is news to report next week a short update will also be provided. In the meantime, we are breathing a sigh of relief that the budget is passed and includes many positives for children and families.  

If you have any questions, email us at Also, please like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for updates on our work during the legislative session and throughout the year.

Laurie Lippold

Public Policy Director