It’s never too early to start thinking about the state operating budget, and lawmakers at the state Capitol have been at it for quite a while. Now there’s a new twist. Dan Frizzell from the House Democratic Caucus has more.
The Legislature has just one constitutionally assigned duty, and that’s to write a state budget. Top Democratic budget writers have been working on a spending plan since last year, but with just 41 days left in the current session, the adjournment clock is ticking down in virtual Olympia. The budget for this biennium is expected to be supplemented by federal dollars, and leaders today were asked how that one-time money would affect the budget process. House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan said it might slow things down a bit but won’t change legislative priorities.
SULLIVAN: The federal money that’s come in does have a huge impact on our budget and how we move forward. We’re going to have funds available to provide assistance to communities who really need it, business assistance, additional testing money as well as vaccination money, so it’s critical that we get it right, and that that money goes out as quickly as we can to communities that are in real need.
Sullivan, a Democrat from Covington, said budget writers are also eager to see what this week’s quarterly revenue forecast says about the state’s economy before finalizing the House budget proposal.