Gov. Jay Inslee signed the first bill of the 2016 legislative session on Monday, laying out a process to fully fund basic education by 2018.
Senate Bill 6195 requires next year’s Legislature to end the state’s overreliance on local school levies. It also collects data on teacher compensation and how local school levy dollars are being spent.
“The Legislature has continually made progress on fully funding education, and this bill is the next necessary step in that process,” Inslee said before signing the bill.
“This will recommit that the Legislature is ready in 2017 to live up to these commitments to fulfill our constitutional obligations to fund education,” Inslee said.
He said that the next step is “arguably the most complex,” but is optimistic that lawmakers will “complete the task.”
Following the bill signing, Inslee spoke with reporters about the progress of negotiations on the supplemental budget proposals. He said that lawmakers from the House and the Senate met with him Monday morning to start negotiations for a final plan. He said that he is confident that Legislature will come up with an agreement before the session ends on March 10.
“There’s absolutely no reason that these legislators operating in good faith should not be able to come up with a budget with in this period of time,” Inslee said. “There’s no reason to go into overtime. I made that abundantly clear.”