Washington Legislature Strikes Budget Deal

Mar 13, 2014

In a new budget deal, Washington public schools will get nearly an additional $60 million, but teachers will not get a cost of living raise this year.

This deal represents a compromise between the Democratically-controlled Washington House and mostly Republican majority in the state Senate.

To reach a deal both sides agreed not to fight over tax breaks. Democrats gave up a proposal to close four tax exemptions. Republicans dropped their plan to extend several tax breaks.

With the tax fight off the table, the two sides compromised around spending priorities. More money will go to public schools to pay for materials, supplies and operations. But teachers will have to wait another year to get their voter-approved cost-of-living raises.

Lawmakers will now scramble to pass this update to the state’s two-year budget before the day is out. This is the last scheduled day of the legislature’s 60-day session.