Statement from Rep. Ross Hunter (D-Medina) on the passage of HB 1105.
“Today we addressed a critical set of funding decisions for Washington by sending a supplemental budget to the governor. This isn’t a complete supplemental budget, but it fixes a handful of severe problems that came up during the interim, lawsuits that the state lost, and disasters where we can get some money on the ground early this spring to help people now.
“In particular, we fund critical mental health improvements. We fund additional staff in the Children’s Administration to respond to increasing child abuse reports. We fund help to communities devastated by emergencies beyond the ability of local resources to handle like the Oso landslides and Carleton Complex fires. I’m also pleased that we pay off a lawsuit the state lost in April, and to stop paying tens of thousands a day in interest.
“The bill also contains a change for this year in the date the revenue forecast we depend on for writing budgets is delivered. I’m a little mystified about the urgency to make this change as I don’t see it altering the dates we’re able to produce budgets. There are many, many factors that go into writing a biennial budget that need to come together before we can sign a conference report. We need accurate Medicaid forecast numbers. We need to know what bills are passing out of policy and fiscal committees. Agreements need to be made on complex issues like education funding and the unconstitutional use of local levies for basic education. Moving the revenue forecast up a month does nothing to make these other budget factors happen more quickly.
“Overall this is a solid budget, and I thank my colleagues in the House and Senate for taking swift action on behalf of the people of Washington.”