State budget

Inslee wants to spend $50M more to combat opioid crisis

BY: - December 4, 2023

Gov. Jay Inslee is calling for another $50 million in state spending to fight the flow of illegal opioids into Washington and to provide services for people with substance use disorder.  The governor included the funding in the budget proposal he will ask state lawmakers to consider in the upcoming legislative session, which begins in […]

Washington finds a new chief economist in King County

BY: - October 9, 2023

David Reich has spent the past decade providing economic prognostications for King County. Soon, he’ll be producing official economic and revenue forecasts for the entire state. On Friday, Reich was named chief economist and executive director of the Washington State Economic and Revenue Forecast Council. “I’m thrilled to be in this position,” Reich said following […]

New state budget forecast offers $1B worth of good news for Washington leaders

BY: - September 27, 2023

Lawmakers will have nearly $1 billion more to spend in the current budget, according to the latest analysis from the state’s chief economist. A new forecast released Tuesday projects state revenues will reach $66.7 billion for the two-year budget cycle that began July 1, an increase of $663 million from what chief economist Steve Lerch […]

Volunteer wildfire firefighters at a wildfire training course. Two people walk towards a fire burning. Most of the photo is smoke.

WA prisoners struggle with wildfire smoke as ventilation upgrades go unfunded

BY: - September 25, 2023

When the wildfire smoke arrives, Harry Whitman has nowhere to go.  “When there’s smoke or there’s a fire, they lock you in,” Whitman said.  Whitman, president of the advocacy group Black Prisoners’ Caucus, is incarcerated at Airway Heights Corrections Center. The prison is located less than 10 miles away from Medical Lake, Washington, where Gray […]

Washington Senate’s budget-writing panel gets a new leader

BY: - September 21, 2023

Sen. June Robinson, an Everett Democrat, was named Thursday as the new chair of the Senate Ways & Means Committee, the budget-writing panel responsible for developing tax policies and deciding how the state spends billions of dollars each year. Robinson, the committee vice chair for the operating budget and revenue the last three sessions, was […]

Oregon lawmakers finalize plans to pay for I-5 bridge

BY: - June 21, 2023

Legislative plans for a research tax credit for the semiconductor industry and paying Oregon’s share of a multibillion-dollar bridge over the Columbia River took shape Tuesday. Bridge funding and the tax breaks were in a group of bills approved by committees on Tuesday and expected to come up for votes in the House and Senate […]

The price of a ferry ride is going up, again.

BY: - May 19, 2023

Traveling on one of Washington’s iconic state ferries is going to get more expensive as the operator of the nation’s largest ferry fleet looks to regain riders and restore service to pre-pandemic levels. Fares are expected to climb 4% in October and another 4% on Oct. 1, 2024 to cope with an inflation-fed rise in […]

Lawmakers tried to regain Capitol dome access. Inslee said ‘no’

BY: - May 17, 2023

Mark Schoesler has been to the top of the state Capitol dome. Most of the longtime senator’s legislative colleagues have not. And they won’t likely get there any time soon. Schoesler, a Republican, authored a provision in the state capital budget to make access possible but Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee vetoed it before signing the […]

The state’s child care gap proves tough to solve

BY: - May 10, 2023

Growing up, Shannon Edwards watched as her mom, a child care provider, was often forced to choose between maintaining her own income and keeping her center affordable for families.  Now a preschool teacher herself, Edwards understands how unfair that choice is. Still, providers make it everyday. “It takes a lot of patience and a certain […]

‘This is what the capital budget should be about’

BY: - May 9, 2023

Growing up in the Mays Pond neighborhood, north of Bothell, Vanessa Miewald recalled walking down the block to a park with its swing set, slide, seesaw and a wood climbing structure. The seesaw was removed for safety reasons just over a year ago. And the wooden structure too as it had rotted to the point […]