Gov. Jay Inslee signed the two year operating budget Friday night as the fiscal year came to a close.
“I am proud to sign a historic budget that fully funds our schools for the first time in more than 30 years,” Inslee said. “This budget, at long last, meets our constitutional obligations to fully fund basic education, and addresses the responsibilities we have under the McCleary decision to equitably fund our schools.”
The governor was joined by a bipartisan group of legislative leaders from the House and Senate.
June 30 is the last day of the fiscal year. Because legislators had not yet approved a new operating budget, state agencies have had to prepare contingency plans in case of a government shutdown. The budget Inslee signed late Friday night ensured state government operations funding by the operating budget can continue.
Unfortunately, at this time, it is unclear whether the Legislature will approve a full capital budget, meaning some state workers will be temporarily laid off.
In addition to funding for schools, the new operating budget also has a number of provisions that help families and workers while strengthening Washington’s mental health system.
The final budget funds significant changes to integrate the state's mental and physical health systems. It also funds collective bargaining agreements to provide pay raises for hard-working state employees, and protects funding for vital services including health care, programs for people with disabilities, services for vulnerable seniors and job training for the under-skilled.
“This budget is a great example of bipartisan cooperation. It really shows what can be done when we work together,” Inslee said.
Details on the 2017-19 biennial budget can be found here.
WATCH - TVW: Gov. Inslee signs 2017-19 operating budget