McCleary case

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Washington homeowners would get some property tax relief in 2019 under a bill that passed the Democratically-controlled Washington state Senate on Wednesday evening over Republican objections. The bill is part of a final budget deal reached with the House as the Legislature heads toward a scheduled adjournment on Thursday. 



Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Washington House Democrats on Tuesday proposed nearly $1 billion in short-term property tax relief, followed by a longer-term tax cut funded by a new state capital gains tax on a minority of wealthier residents.

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Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Thursday rolled out his proposal for an update to the state’s two-year, $43 billion budget. Here are the top five items on the governor’s budget wish list:

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Washington state lawmakers will likely have to come up with an extra $1 billion for schools when they convene in January for the 2018 session.

The Washington Supreme Court issued a unanimous order Wednesday that said the state is not on track to fully fund public schools by a court-imposed deadline of September 1, 2018.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

The Washington Legislature enacted a new state property tax this year to shift the burden of school funding off local levies. But the question before the state Supreme Court Tuesday was whether Washington lawmakers fully funded schools as required by the court .

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It took three overtime sessions and the threat of a government shutdown, but in the end a divided Washington Legislature found the will and the pathway to a compromise, passing a two-year, $43.7 billion budget, and the taxes to support it, that some lawmakers say will solve a generational problem—the ample funding of public schools. 



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Despite what state lawmakers say, Washington’s next budget doesn’t fully fund schools. That’s the opinion of the lawyer who sued the state in 2007 over school funding.

Attorney Thomas Ahearne said it’s not enough money and it doesn’t get to the schools fast enough.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Details are emerging about the budget Washington state lawmakers plan to pass before midnight Friday. Over the next four years, schools in Washington will get more than $7 billion in additional state funds.

Much of that money will come from a hike in the state property tax.

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There’s still no word of a budget deal in the Washington state Capitol. And a partial government shutdown is just days away. Yet lawmakers remain optimistic.

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It’s do-or-die week in Olympia. If lawmakers don’t pass a budget and send it to the governor for his signature before midnight on Friday, state government will go into partial shutdown.

Washington lawmakers are optimistic that won’t happen.

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