The Washington State Senate passed a budget that invests in mental health and passed nearly unanimously – a first in recent history (TRT: 1:07 ) CLICK TO DOWNLOAD


The Washington State Senate Thursday passed a supplemental operating budget that had near unanimous support and passed off the Senate floor 48 to 1. Sen. Jim Hargrove of Hoquiam, the lead budget negotiator worked tirelessly on the budget.

Sen. Jim Hargrove, D-Hoquiam: (TRT: 32 ) CLICK TO DOWNLOAD: “Yeah, I really think it was quite remarkable that we were able to pass a budget 48 to one. Nobody can find in any history of the State of Washington where we had a near unanimous budget. Um, I was very pleased that I was able to do a budget that both added to education and did not harm our safety net. We were able to do it without any new taxes and also we did it without making any more tax loopholes so that we don’t have a more difficult situation in the future. The budget’s balanced, it’s done and we got done in 60 days. I’m extremely happy.”

This first-do-no-harm budget maintains critical funding for high priority safety net services and adds $7 million to mental health funding. The four-year balanced budget also includes $1 million to food programs across the state and restores much needed funding for our state’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

Nicole Vukonich reporting in Olympia