March 14, 2013
Day 60: Off the Floor and Back to Committee. Next Up: State Budget
Yesterday (March 13) was the “floor cutoff” in the State Legislature. Bills that didn’t make it out of their chamber of origin are now considered “dead.” Of course, bills can still be revived in Olympia-speak if they are “NTIB,” which means “necessary to implement the budget.”
TVW has a brief summary of several high-profile bills that made it out alive.
So what happens next? As The News Tribune reports:
Starting today, long days of floor action are over in the Legislature, and attention turns to the state budget.
Legislative members will now also be spending time studying proposals in committee that passed the opposite chamber before the cutoff.
Back to the budget, the overall picture is coming closer into focus. Today, the “caseload forecast” was released. The long and short of it is that demand for state services went up:
Governor's budget director says new caseload forecast shows a $300 million hit to state budget. Overall shortfall now about $1.3 billion
— Andrew Garber (@awgarber) March 14, 2013
State caseloads down in most areas except K-12 schools. But costs up: Gov's budget office says hit to be $300M bigger budget hole. #waleg
— Brad Shannon (@BradShannon2) March 14, 2013
Next Wednesday (March 20), the “revenue forecast” will be released, showing budget writers how much the state expects to collect in revenues. Taking those figures into account, Senate Republicans are expected to release their budget before the end of the month.
The House Democrats will then likely put their budget out the first week of April, and the minority caucuses in both chambers will likely release proposals of their own — in addition to the Governor laying out his budget priorities.
Stay tuned here on the State Relations blog, and to the Office of Planning & Budgeting’s blog, for more news surrounding the state budget.