Standoff Creates Big Hole In Washington State's New Budget
Washington state's brand new operating budget was not even hours old Wednesday when it sprung a big hole.
A $2 billion hole.
That cropped up because the new two-year spending plan was balanced on the assumption that lawmakers would trim back a costly school class size reduction initiative.
"The important thing to sort out is we have a $2 billion hole in the middle of a perfectly good budget that is going to have to get fixed,” said David Schumacher, Governor Jay Inslee's budget director. “It's not a crisis. It's a problem that needs to be addressed."
Democrats in the Washington Senate unexpectedly balked early this morning at suspending the voter-approved class size initiative. The Senate Democrats may agree to go along though in exchange for canceling a high school biology test requirement. It’s preventing up to 2,000 Washington students from graduating.
Lawmakers in Olympia may try to fix those problems -- and few other stray spending issues --next week after taking a holiday time out.