“Last night I was pleased to sign a new operating budget for the state that is forward-looking and fair.
“It makes historic investments in education that will provide 1,600 more children access to quality preschool, gives college students a break in tuition, and ensures one million school children will return to school in the fall with funding for updated textbooks and supplies, smaller class sizes and all-day kindergarten for our youngest learners, and better paid teachers.
“From mental health and child welfare to state parks and oil spill response, this is a budget that reflects the values and priorities of the people of Washington.
“Legislators are also close to finishing the final bills needed for a capital budget and a 16-year transportation investment package that will support hundreds of thousands of jobs and provide important infrastructure improvements for communities all across Washington, boosting our growing economy. I urge legislators to wrap these up as soon as possible so we can start putting out the construction cones and getting people to work.
“By anyone’s standards, and certainly by mine, this is an impressive checklist.
“There is one important operating budget item to resolve – when and how to implement last year’s Initiative-1351, which would cost an additional $2 billion that was not provided in the budget the Legislature passed. I believe it is important for the Legislature to find a solution that results in a balanced budget sooner rather than later. We are so close. I encourage legislators to complete their work.”