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Open Access Publications from the University of California

2013 Washington State Budget-Recession and Basic Education as a Constitutional Paramount Duty


The Washington State budget is between a rock and a hard place, challenged by a slowly recovering economy and the State Supreme Court's McCleary decision.  A year after three Democrats shocked their Senate colleagues by uniting with Republicans to engineer a floor takeover of legislative business, attention remains fixed on the majority coalition.  Each majority caucus in the House and Senate held their ground through the 2013 105-day regular legislative session, which predictably ended in a standstill with no budget agreement.  The political maneuvering and power plays that plagued the regular legislative session continued through two 30-day special sessions, right up to the point where only two days remained before a state government shutdown loomed and lay-off notices to state workers were set to go into effect. A budget deal was finally struck just short of a shutdown. In 2013 at long last Washington State experienced, along with the nation, a slow recovery from the recession and state revenues were on the rise.  Washington's economic hopes now rest on tax increases, economic recovery, especially in aerospace, and the potential of new revenue from the regulated production and sale of recreational marijuana made possible through the passage of I-502 in 2012.

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