Sine Die

The Legislature is in the final hours of the legislative session. We have yet to pass a supplemental budget but I am optimistic we will have an agreement soon. It is likely that the Governor will call a special session so we can finish our budget work in the coming days.

In this “short” session, we were able to make progress in several areas. We created a new college savings plan for families so that they have more options when investing in their children’s future. We also passed important legislation to close the educational opportunity gap to help give every kid an equal shot at a successful and prosperous life.

Today I joined Sen. Nelson on TVW to discuss the highs and lows of the legislative session. Click here to watch the entire interview.

The impending levy cliff

As we work toward a final version of the budget, one of my priorities is to ensure we address the “levy cliff,” which would require local school districts to automatically lower their levy levels. Failure to address this issue, would create the largest education funding cut in the history of our state.

Charter schools

The Legislature passed legislation today that attempts to resolve the Supreme Court’s ruling that charter schools are unconstitutional.

I am impressed by the work I have seen at Spokane’s two charter schools and want to see them remain open. However, I have concerns about this charter school bill because its constitutionality is still in doubt and another Supreme Court challenge which would lead to further uncertainty for the children who are currently enrolled in charter schools.

This session, I have worked to find a solution that provides educational certainty for the children currently enrolled in charter schools, and ensure that local school boards (and the local voters that elect them) have a strong role to play in any charter schools within their district.

I did not support the charter school bill that passed today but I am hopeful we can take action in the future to ensure these schools have reliable funding and strong local control.

Top prospects

Sen. Billig with staff

This session, we had the pleasure of sponsoring two pages from Spokane, Jackson Snyder and Zachary Deutschman. Zach and Jackson spent a week at the Capitol, helping assist my staff and me. It is always inspiring to have young people from our community come and learn about the role of state government.

Keeping in Touch

If you have a comment, idea or question, please let me know. I would love to hear from you! You can email me at or call me at 360-786-7604.