December 10, 2008

More from the budget front

By Randy Hodgins

The Governor’s budget is now tentatively scheduled to be released the morning of December 18. There are literally hundreds of decisions that go into the final preparation of a budget proposal, so people involved are emphasizing that it could slip a day — but not much more since state law requires the proposal to be released by December 20.

The Governor also has been tapping business, education and labor leaders for ideas as she develops a stimulus package for the session. President Emmert attended a December 8 meeting with the Governor; her stimulus package is expected mid-January.

Writing in Crosscut, Pete Jackson noted the recent decision by the UW to suspend a number of search efforts and made the case that higher education investments need to be protected as lawmakers and the Governor work to close the state budget gap.

Finally, a quick update of election results. All legislative races save one have now been settled. The Snohomish County (44th District) race between Liz Loomis and Mike Hope remains too close to call, though Hope continues to maintain a roughly 100 vote lead. The recount should be finished soon and a final victor announced next week. If Hope maintains his lead, it would be a pick-up for the Republicans and the Democrats majority in the upcoming session would be 62 to 36.

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