E-newsletter – Home Stretch

March 10th, 2014|

Passing the Operating Budget

Last week, both the Senate and the House passed their supplemental operating budget proposals.

Our state operates on a two-year budget cycle. In the odd years, we do two-year biennial budgets. In the even years, like this one, we do a supplemental budget that is an update and adjustment to the two-year budget plans.

I supported the bipartisan Senate operating budget although I do not believe it went far enough in funding education. We have a constitutional obligation, a moral duty, and a Supreme Court order to properly fund education in our state.

To take a step toward full funding of basic education, I was pleased to join with my Senate Democratic colleagues in proposing an addition to the budget that would close four tax loopholes and use the $100 million raised to fund all-day kindergarten, class size reduction, text books, and teacher cost of living increases, all areas where state funding is well-short of our obligation.

Here’s a link to a Capitol Record story on our proposal.

During this final week of the session, the House and Senate will negotiate a final version of the budget that both chambers will have to pass before sending to the Governor for his signature.

The Washington State Senate convenes for the 2014 Opening Ceremonies including administration of oaths of office to members of the Senate and election of Senate officers (1st Day of the 2014 Regular Session).

Sen. Billig and Sen. Jim Hargrove, the ranking member on the Senate Ways and Means Committee.

Thank you to everybody who has contacted our office with your budget comments. I welcome your continued input as we move forward with finalizing what I hope will be a responsible, balanced budget that delivers for our community and the entire state.

Clean and Healthy Spokane River

This session I’ve been working on a bill, SB 6086, that will help reduce PCBs in the Spokane River and waterways throughout the state. This bill will change the state’s procurement policies to reduce the state’s purchase of products that contain PCBs. The state is a large purchaser so this bill should reduce PCBs in our waterways as well as help move the market by encouraging suppliers to seek alternatives to PCBs in their manufacturing processes.

Last week, SB 6086 passed out of the House of Representatives with a few minor amendments. The bill will come back over to the Senate this week for concurrence so the House’s amendments can be approved and then it will be headed to the Governor to be signed into law.

Here’s a link to a story about this bill on KPBX.

Keeping In Touch

Please don’t hesitate to contact our office with questions or comments at any time. You can reach me by e-mail (andy.billig@leg.wa.gov) or by phone at 360-786-7604.

And if you know someone who would like to get their own copy of our weekly e-newsletter, please send them to my website at http://www.senatedemocrats.wa.gov/senators/billig/ and click on the link to “Sign up for my e-newsletter” – I’ll be glad to keep them in the loop!