Washington state House passes $43.7 billion budget

The state House has approved the $43.7 billion budget for the next two years that would increase spending for public schools, mental health and state worker contracts. 

The spending plan was approved by a 70 to 23 vote Friday.

The 2017-2019 budget must be passed by the Legislature by midnight to avoid a partial government shutdown.

The measure adds $1.8 billion for K-12 public schools, part of a multi-billion hike over four years designed to satisfy a state Supreme Court ruling that the state had not adequately funded basic education. The budget also adds $618 million for public employee collective bargaining and pay and $102 million in mental health spending.

Governor Inslee signed the budget 45 minutes before the midnight deadline.

© 2017 Associated Press


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