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Senate committee set to vote on budget bills, Gov. Inslee press conference at 5 p.m.

by caprecord

The Senate Ways and Means Committee is set to vote on budget-related bills Friday afternoon, one day before the end of the current second special session. A third special session would be required for lawmakers to continue past Saturday, as they negotiate a budget deal necessary to avoid a potential government shutdown.

Meanwhile, Gov. Jay Inslee has scheduled a press conference at 5 p.m. Friday, which TVW will carry live.

At 2:30 p.m. Friday, the Senate committee is scheduled to vote on Senate Bill 6051, which would continue state government funding for one month if a budget is not in place by June 30, the deadline to avoid a partial shutdown. Republican budget leaders have said the budget is intended only to be used in an emergency.

Senate Bill 6052 is the latest GOP two-year operating budget proposal, which spends $38.2 billion in the 2015-17 budget cycle. It increases spending from the previous Senate offer by about $367 million.

Also on the agenda are two measures related to tax preferences:

Senate Bill 6138 would raise $126 million in revenue by closing tax breaks, including one for software manufacturers and a preferential business and occupation tax rate for royalty income.

Senate Bill 6057 reinstates or extends a dozen tax preferences, which would decrease revenue by about $113.5 million. It reinstates a high-tech research and development tax break that expired in January, extends a tax break for the food processing industry and provides a tax exemption for server equipment in data centers, among others.

The committee will also consider an education bill, which addresses K-12 and early education. It also cuts college tuition by 25 percent.

TVW will carry the hearing live at this link.

House Democrats passed their latest budget proposal, House Bill 1106, out of committee on Tuesday, along with a bill that would raise an additional $356 million for education by closing several tax breaks.