Budget Talks & Final Week of Legislative Session

At the state Capitol in Olympia, lawmakers have rounded the last corner and are heading for the finish line, with one final hurdle left to clear. Dan Frizzell from the House Democratic Caucus has more.

Friday was day 54 of the 60 day legislative session, a span set by the Washington state constitution. Those last six days are going to see a lot of action as House and Senate budget writers work toward agreement on a supplemental operating budget. At this point they’re not far off on the bottom line, but the details inside each budget have to match penny for penny before the last gavel of the year falls on March 12. The House budget chief, Democratic Representative Timm Ormsby of Spokane, doesn’t seem worried about beating that deadline. Here’s Ormsby.

ORMSBY: “This budget is a reflection of our collection values that we brought from every corner of the state. Negotiations with our negotiation partners in the Senate have been going on in earnest for the last couple of days. I feel good about how we understand each other and our priorities, and how those priorities are going to be reflected in the state budget.”

While they’re working on those differences, there’s one major thing both chambers agree on: They’ve included $100 million dollars to spend on the effort to corral and reverse the state’s growing coronavirus outbreak. In Olympia, Dan Frizzell.