We have reached the halfway point on the legislative calendar, as the Senate has now completed work on its own bills and is now exclusively considering bills passed in the House of Representatives, along with those necessary to pass the supplemental budgets.
While many good bills died because of the voting deadline, and quite a few bad ones continue to move along, I am pleased to have secured Senate approval for three of my bills. You can learn more about these bills – dealing with the physical health of our Hanford workers and the mental health of our students, veterans and new mothers – by reading more below or visiting my website.
Arguably, last week’s most important event occurred on Thursday, when the state Economic and Revenue Forecast Council released the new revenue forecast. That morning I sat in as a non-voting member of the Council in place of Sen. John Braun, the Senate Republican budget leader, who was away due to his Naval Reserve duties.
The news left reporters’ mouths gaping. The state is expected to bring in an additional $1.3 billion in new revenue, achieved through economic growth. When combined with the previous two quarterly forecasts, from later last year, it means we can expect more than $2.4 billion beyond what budget-writers had figured on when we adopted the new state budget last summer.