Legislative Update: Gov. Inslee Immediately Calls Lawmakers Into Second Special Session
Earlier this week, Gov. Inslee announced that he would be immediately calling the Legislature into a second special session after they failed to reach an agreement on the 2017-19 budget during the first special session. This new session is also scheduled for 30 days and will end on June 23. As is standard procedure at this point in the fiscal calendar, we have begun contingency planning for our various programs and contracts in case a budget deal is not reached by June 30 and we enter a partial government shutdown. While this planning work is necessary, it should in no way suggest that this is a likely outcome. Gov. Inslee even went so far as to call it “very unlikely” at his recent press conference.
For now, we remain focused on pursuing our priorities with legislators. I was pleased to see that our agency request bill, HB 1630 regarding HMIS youth consent, passed nearly unanimously for the third time out of the House this week. I am hopeful the Senate will move to pass the bill soon. Additionally, we continue to have great conversations with legislators about a third round of investments in the governor’s clean energy fund as well as building support for our entire suite of economic development programs. I am especially grateful to the associate development organizations, public ports, chambers of commerce and so many others that have been speaking up on behalf of the department to protect these critical economic development programs.
I am optimistic that a final budget deal will reflect these priorities and more as we advocate for the needed investments to strengthen communities across Washington.