The 2015-17 operating budget passes in the Washington State Senate. (TRT: 1:13) CLICK TO DOWNLOAD.


On Monday, the Senate passed a $38.2 billion dollar biennial budget that makes much-needed investments in education, restores recession-era cuts to the safety net, and makes higher education more affordable. Sen. Jim Hargrove of Hoquiam, the lead Democratic budget negotiator, has been working to find a solution that addresses the needs of Washingtonians.

Sen. Jim Hargrove, D- Hoquiam: (TRT: 30) CLICK TO DOWNLOAD: “Well, I think this is a great spending plan from where we started out. I’m thinking back to, uh, an evening here a few months ago where we went through a long and arduous amendatory process on the original budget that left the Senate. You know what? This looks an awful lot like the amendments that I introduced that night when you get through with it. TANF, the CBAs, K-12 comp, the mental health pieces…as far as the spending goes it looks a lot like what we worked on that night and didn’t quite get that. It took us two more months to get there.”

Sen. Hargrove also expressed concern that the state has not addressed its overreliance on property tax levies to fund the education system. The budget passed in the Senate, 38 to 10 and passed in the House 90 to 8. The budget will now head to the governor to be signed before the end of the fiscal year on Tuesday, June 30.

At the state capitol in Olympia, Nicole Vukonich.