OLYMPIA — Lawmakers finalized a new state budget Friday, moving swiftly to avert a looming government shutdown.
The House and Senate both voted by wide margins to approve the $33.6 billion spending plan, just hours after the 483-page bill was made available for public inspection. The measure now goes to Gov. Jay Inslee, who is expected to review the budget and sign it by the end of Sunday.
Much of state government would be shut down if the spending plan hasn’t been completed by the end of the weekend.
“This has taken a long time to get here,” said Sen. Andy Hill, a Republican from Redmond who was one of the budget negotiators. “I think the end results, while they took a while and were painful, I think in the end it’s going to be a budget document that serves our citizens, and most importantly our children.”
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Lawmakers had been working on the budget for months and were supposed to finish the spending plan in April, but wide disagreements over a variety of tax and policy matters stalled talks.
The budget also includes a variety of cuts. Budget writers booked $30 million in savings from the implementation of lean management practices. Lawmakers again suspended voter-approved cost of living increases for school employees, saving $320 million, and also are indefinitely delaying implementation of an as-of-yet unfunded law giving Washington state parents five weeks of paid time off to be with a new child.