We are now well into the third week of the second special session. And, unfortunately, there seems to be little movement towards reaching an agreement on McCleary or the operating budget. The Office of Financial Management has posted information about contingency planning if a budget agreement is not reached by June 30th. You can read more about it on the OFM website.
The uncertainty is very challenging for state agencies, community-based organizations, legislators, individuals receiving services, everyone! It is rumored that the House may not come in again until June 20th, and there haven’t been many rumors about when the Senate will reconvene. It is clear that meetings are taking place, but how they are going, whether or not negotiations have really begun, where they are in the process, etc. is a bit of a mystery.
In the meantime, some legislators and organizations are starting to look at priorities for the 2018 session. Timelines for state agency decision packages for 2018 have been released and are rapidly approaching. While it is hard to move forward until a budget has been passed, it is also important to be thinking about and planning for 2018, as it will be here before we know it!
Just FYI, it looks like the Senate, at least members of the Ways and Means and a couple of other committees, will be in Olympia on the 13th! That doesn't mean they are close on the budget but it does mean there could be opportunities to talk to your Senator!
Apologies for not getting this out sooner. Given there haven't been any changes (that we are aware of anyway!), we will hold off on sending another update this week and provide whatever new information there is next week. Unless something has changed with bills, we will not update the Bill Tracker until the legislature truly adjourns - keep your fingers crossed that that happens by June 30th!
Again, apologies for the delay in getting this out! More in week four of the second special session.
Have a good week!
Public Policy Director