The House Democrat Caucus introduced its 2017-19 Operating Budget on Monday (3/27), took testimony that afternoon, and worked through 59 amendments in the Appropriations Committee the following day. After considering another 67 amendments on the floor, ESSB 5048, as amended, passed on a straight party line vote of 50-48 on Friday (3/31).

The two-year budget call “Families First” by the House Democrats, incorporates nearly $3 billion of new taxes for a total budget of just under $45 billion. Most of the additional revenues are directed to human services. A side-by-side comparison by budget category is available at: LEAP Budget Comparison

The House has not yet acted on the supporting tax package. They are hearing it in public testimony this morning.  HB 2186, which includes a new 7% tax on capital gains, a 20% increase in B&O tax rates on some sectors, changes to Real Estate Excise Tax rates and the elimination of some tax preferences. 

Full budget: https://app.leg.wa.gov/CMD/Handler.ashx?MethodName=getdocumentcontent&documentId=Ag6ckGJ-y4w&att=false
Budget Summary: https://app.leg.wa.gov/CMD/Handler.ashx?MethodName=getdocumentcontent&documentId=G7IsJFuGjHM&att=false

K-12 Public Schools funding levels

  • $1.73 billion increase in K-12 compensation allocations.
  • $117 million increase in Local Effort Assistance (LEA).
  • $40 million increase for professional learning.
  • $10 million savings from changes to teacher evaluation training.
  • $21 million in savings from changes to certificates of achievement.

This Weeks Schedule

Appropriations (House) – HHR A, JLOB – 4/3 @ 1:30pm

  • 2SSB 5107 – Public Hearing – Facilitating local funding and involvement in expanding early childhood education and assistance program eligibility.
  • SB 5070 – Exec Session – Concerning paraeducators.
  • ESSB 5293 – Exec Session – Concerning court-based and school-based efforts to promote attendance and reduce truancy.
  • SB 5639 – Exec Session – Concerning alternative student assessments.

Ways & Means (Senate) – SHR 4, – 4/3 @ 1:30pm

  • EHB 1551 – Public Hearing – Creating a competitive equipment assistance grant program to enhance student nutrition in public schools.
  • ESHB 1508 – Public Hearing – Promoting student health and readiness through meal and nutrition programs.
  • E2SHB 1713 – Public Hearing – Implementing recommendations from the children’s mental health work group.
  • HB 1042 – Exec Session – Eliminating the office of the insurance commissioner’s school district or educational service district annual report.
  • SHB 1434 – Exec Session – Adding the use of shared leave for employees who are sick or temporarily disabled because of pregnancy disability or for the purposes of parental leave to bond with the employee’s newborn, adoptive, or foster child.
  • ESHB 1600 – Exec Session – Increasing the career and college readiness of public school students.
  • 2SHB 1170 – Exec Session – Maintaining and facilitating court-based and school-based efforts to promote attendance and reduce truancy.
  • ESHB 1594 – Exec Session – Improving public records administration.

Detailed Bill Summary

Download a detailed list of bills concerning education.