OLYMPIA, Wash. - Washington lawmakers are getting briefed on the details of a new two-year state budget and an education funding plan as staffers race to finish the various bills that the Legislature needs for a vote.
Legislative leaders had initially said that the budget and other related documents would be posted publicly at noon Thursday, but later had to amend that, saying they won't be available until Thursday night.
Democratic Rep. June Robinson, who has been part of the budget negotiations, said that exhausted staffers are trying to get the complicated bill done as quickly as possible in time for a vote Friday.
The Democratic-controlled House and Republican-led Senate have been struggling for months to find compromise on a budget that addresses a state Supreme Court mandate on education funding. They reached agreement on the budget after overnight negotiations that ended Wednesday morning.
Seattle Public Schools, the largest district in the state, said it has gotten a first look at the legislature's plan, but does not yet know specifics or what the proposed plan would mean for the district.
“As we’ve asked our legislative delegation all along, make sure the McCleary solution fully funds basic education – and at a minimum – does not harm our ability to hire and retain the educators we need to meet the needs of the 53,000 students in our schools," Seattle Public Schools spokesperson Kim Schmanke said in a statement. “We remain hopeful this budget and the McCleary plan will support this important work."