Prepared by Marie Sullivan, WSPTA Legislative Consultant, email@example.com
Friday afternoon, March 27, Governor Jay Inslee signed the 2020 supplemental operating and capital budgets. The Governor acknowledged that in normal times he would have signed the budget with very few changes. “These are not normal times, however, and we need to look ahead to our falling revenues and the impact they will have on our budgets in the next few years.”
The vetoes were not unexpected to address the COVID-19 revenue shortfall, and the Governor used his pen to make line-item vetoes in the operating budget, including:
- $31.8 million to add .5 school counselor to the prototypical school funding formula.
- $14.3 million to add two days for paraeducator training.
- $4 million for small school enrichment grants.
In addition, the Governor vetoed several studies, workgroups, individual provisos, and new programs, including:
- WAKIDS bias study;
- EPI pen “waste” review;
- Weighted GPA study;
- Transitional K study; and
- Balanced School Year Pilot Program.
The Governor maintained the following operating budget additions:
- $45.7 million in LEA hold harmless payments.
- $2.5 million for school safety and mental health staff at the nine ESDs.
- $100,000 for the Education Ombuds for further outreach to parents and families to improve their advocacy at the local level.
The Governor made no vetoes to the capital budget, so the $13.2 million for seismic projects was protected.
Discussing the cuts, Governor Inslee said the total will net about $445 million over the next three years. This includes $235 million in the current biennium and another $210 million in the 2021-23 biennium. Specifically, he mentioned not wanting to cut the school counselor provision but acknowledged the cost not just in this year, but in future years, and his concern about using prudent fiscal approaches for the next fiscal year and the 2021-23 biennium.