60-day Legislative session adjourns with approval of state budgets

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March 9, 2018

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

It is my great privilege to serve as your state senator for another year. Late last night, the Legislature adjourned its 60-day session. Looking back, it was a fast-paced session full of many bipartisan accomplishments. It ended on schedule with approval of the three “supplemental” budgets, which make mid-course modifications to our existing 2017-19 operating, transportation, and capital budgets.

Overview of Supplemental Budgets Approved

Operating Budget

The supplemental operating budget, Senate Bill 6032, increases state spending for 2017-19 to a total of $44.4 billion. The budget relies on nearly all of the $2.3 billion of additional revenue our state is expected to receive over the next four years. It funds many good things, including additional support for K-12 education, higher education, health care, human services, public safety, natural resources, debt service, and cost-of-living adjustments for some retired teachers and public employees. It also proposes a one-time reduction in state property taxes.

Unfortunately, the budget developers in the Senate and House accomplished this by utilizing all of the additional revenue flowing into the state due to our economic growth and also by utilizing $400 million intended for the Budget Stabilization Account. This account (often referred to as the “Rainy Day Fund”) was created by voters in 2007 to save money in good economic times to protect us against emergencies and economic downturns. I felt strongly that our state could make its additional investments in state programs and reduce property taxes while adequately setting aside money in its reserves. Instead, the plan now is to spend nearly everything and also divert money from our Rainy Day Fund. For these reasons, I could not support the final budget. The supplemental operating budget was approved by a House vote of 54-44 and a Senate vote of 25-24. I voted “no.” For more information on the budget, click here.

with Senators Carlyle, Palumbo

Earlier this week, I discuss my Senate Bill 6055 with two of its co-sponsors, Sen. Reuven Carlyle (D-Seattle) and Sen. Guy Palumbo (D-Maltby). My bill, which creates an opportunity for Leavenworth to dispose of brush and yard waste, was amended numerous times this session but received final legislative approval March 7, the day before final adjournment.

Transportation Budget

The supplemental transportation budget, SB 6106, adjusts the existing 2017-19 budget to a total of $9.3 billion. It appropriates funding for projects in prior-approved spending plans and funds the Washington State Patrol and the Departments of Transportation and Licensing. I was very pleased that the updated budget includes new appropriations for two important projects in the 12th District, including $300,000 for traffic mitigation in Chelan and $400,000 for the North Wenatchee Avenue Bypass (Confluence Parkway) Environmental Impact Statement. This is in addition to the $2 million toward US2/West Cashmere Bridge replacement, which remains in the budget from last session. These new appropriations mean nearly $3 million has been approved for 12th District transportation projects -- for this biennium -- outside of the new tax package approved in 2015. Our region can be very proud of what we have accomplished together. The supplemental transportation budget was approved by a House vote of 96-1 and a Senate vote of 46-1. I voted “yes.” For more information on the budget, click here and to read my transportation budget email update.

Capital Budget

The supplemental capital budget, SB 6095, adjusts the existing 2017-19 budget to a total of $4.6 billion. The capital budget funds infrastructure and land-related expenditures, including funding for K-12 school bonds, higher education buildings, corrections, state parks, and other facilities. In addition to these items, I am very thankful that the final capital budget includes $900,000 for Saddle Rock remediation, $556,000 for Chelan County’s moderate risk waste facility, and $350,000 for the Wenatchee WRIA 45 Pilot Project. The supplemental capital budget was approved by a House vote of 96-2 and 49-0. I voted “yes.” For more information, click here and to read my capital budget email update.

    Thank you for the opportunity to serve you

    With the 2018 legislative session officially over, I’d like to express my appreciation for the opportunity to serve as your state senator. I try hard to listen to your needs, keep an open mind on issues, and advocate strongly for your interests. It can be an exhausting process at times, but I am very proud of all that we have accomplished together.

    I look forward to seeing you all in the months ahead, as we recap this past session and begin looking ahead to the next one. If you have any questions or comments, please contact my office anytime using the information below.

    Thank you for allowing me to represent you in Olympia!



    Brad Hawkins

    State Senator Brad Hawkins
    12th Legislative District
    E-mail: brad.hawkins@leg.wa.gov 

    Website: senatorbradhawkins.org

    107 Newhouse Building - P.O. Box 40412 | Olympia, WA 98504-0412
    (360) 786-7622 or Toll-free: (800) 562-6000