Washington’s budget is in trouble — again
It’s an old fashioned fight over water rights that is damning up the capital budget in Olympia.
After the state budget was signed in late June, a few lingering points were left to tie up. One point is now holding up the capital budget which is used for projects like roads, bridges and other infrastructure.
“Legislative leaders told me today they have reached an impasse on a bill to address the Hirst decision,” Washington Governor Jay Inslee said. “I asked Senate Republicans if they would accept a 24-month delay to give property owners relief, but they told me they would not. There have been other offers throughout this session, and as recently as today the House provided the Senate a permanent fix I would have supported, but the Senate has rejected those as well.”
The Hirst decision is a Supreme Court decision requiring new, more expensive testing before homeowners can put in a well on their property. There is a disagreement, however, over who should pay for that testing — the county or the state. A bill — HB 2248 — was designed to solve the problem, but Republicans and Democrats cannot agree on it.
Inslee is giving lawmakers until Thursday to come to an agreement. He is also asking for a temporary 2-year agreement so the Legislature can move forward on the budget. Republicans don’t like that idea.