The Latest: House passes $52.8 billion budget
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The Latest on deliberations on the state budget at the Washington Legislature (all times local):
Legislators in the Washington state House have passed their proposed two-year budget.
The budget passed on a 56-38 vote Friday evening.
Along with money for mental health care, the House Democrats’ budget also includes increases for K-12 and higher education, long-term care for the developmentally disabled.
In total, the $52.8 billion budget includes about $2.3 billion in new spending, according to estimates prepared by nonpartisan staff.
Separate bills from the House Democrats propose funding their budget with three new or increased taxes, including a capital gains tax and increases in the state’s business and occupation tax. Unlike a similar tax proposed by Senate Democrats however, the money from the capital gains tax proposed by House Democrats goes to fund spending, rather than tax cuts.
Senate Democrats have released a two-year state budget proposal to increase spending on education and mental health and have included a stand-alone option for a capital gains tax that, if adopted, would pay for a series of tax breaks.
The Senate plan, unveiled Friday, seeks more than $500 million in new revenue to fund the underlying $52.2 billion budget, including a change to the state’s real estate excise tax, which House Democrats are also seeking.
While a capital gains tax was also unveiled Friday, it is not assumed as part of the revenue needed to pay for the underlying budget. If adopted it is expected to bring in $780 million starting in 2021 that would fund several tax breaks: a tax credit for low-income families, a tax cut for small businesses, and increasing the number of seniors who are eligible for a property tax reduction. It would also fund the elimination of the sales tax on diapers, medical and mobility equipment, feminine hygiene products, and over-the-counter medications.