December 22, 2016
2016 Year in Review B

2016 legislative session ends after special session, no major issues tackled

The 2016 legislative session was only scheduled to last 60 days, just enough time to tackle what should be a relatively simple task of adjusting the two-year spending plan passed in 2015 to account for increased caseloads in services and schools. But, lawmakers still went into overtime before agreeing on a supplemental budget deal.

In an effort to speed up lawmakers’ work, Gov. Jay Inslee vetoed 27 bills. As part of the special session, lawmakers overrode his vetoes in the course of finishing the budget deal.

Republicans in the Senate also fought off Democratic efforts to undo the four-year balanced budget requirement, which ensures budgets are not just balanced for the current two-year budget but the following two-year spending plan as well.

AWB is a strong proponent of the four-year spending outlook requirement, which has brought needed discipline to the budgeting process. It is one way to foresee how spending today impacts the next two-year state operating budget, ending the "boom to bust" that was so common prior to the legislation.

In the end, and after 20 extra days, the House and Senate were able to bridge the gap on spending differences, and, in the process, end the argument — for now — on whether or not to abide by the four-year balanced budget as required by law.

Highlights of the 2016 supplemental budget are outlined in AWB’s email newsletter Fast Facts. Also, check out how lawmakers voted on key employer issues during the session in AWB’s 2016 Legislative Review and Vote Record.

For more information on tax and fiscal issues for the 2017 session, contact AWB Government Affairs Director Eric Lohnes at 360.943.1600.

« Back to Main

2016 in Videos

Grow Here: Rite in the Rain

Grow Here: Nucor Steel Seattle

Grow Here: Schilling Cider

Legislative Day and Hill Climb

Spring Meeting

Leadership Washington Class of 2016 Graduation

Gubernatorial Debate

Small Business Outreach Tour

Chamber of the Year Award

Policy Summit

Manufacturing Day

Manufacturing Summit

D.C. Fly-in