Today, March 17 is day 68 of the session.
“Of all the hardships a person had to face, none was more punishing than the simple act of waiting.”
? Khaled Hosseini, A Thousand Splendid Suns
The WACO priority bills continue to move through the chambers. The Coroners’ bill has traction, and we’ve been told that it’ll be included in the budget. Due to the backlash from the Sound Transit levy vote, we thought that the Auditors’ fee bill was dead. But there is a faint glimmer of hope that a very limited amount of revenue sharing could flow to the counties when the budget is written. WACO and the Clerks are looking into amending the cleanup bill to remove a controversial provision that has it stalled in committee.
We’ve repeatedly mentioned that we expect the Senate budget will be revealed next week, the week of March 20. We’ve been told that the budget is going to be disastrous to local government. We all are nervously waiting; and waiting is the worse part.
There is a sliver of good news; the recent revenue forecast (revenue forecast PDF) projects that general fund state will increase to $3.842 billion, which is an increase of over $186 million over previous projections. But it’s not enough to have a significant impact on the over-all budget picture.