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How lawmakers voted in Olympia

When the legislature failed to reach agreement on a supplemental state budget by the end of the 60-day 2016 regular session on March 10, Gov. Inslee immediately called lawmakers back into special session. The special session adjourned on March 29, after a budget agreement was reached. In historic action, both the House and the Senate also voted to override all of the record 27 vetoes Gov. Inslee issued at the end of the regular session. These are the first gubernatorial override votes, which require a two-thirds vote by both houses, that have succeeded since 1998.

House Bill 2376: Making 2016 supplemental operating appropriations. Passed the House on March 29, 2016 by a vote of 78-17, three members excused.

This is the compromise budget that would add about $191 million in spending to the current $38.2 billion 2015-17 budget, without tax increases or new taxes. It assumes new revenues from $46 million in “royalty amnesty” payments and $34 million in Department of Revenue audit payment assessments. The royalty amnesty provision would allow national companies with local franchises or businesses to pay back taxes owed on royalty income by October of this year without a major penalty. The 4-year balanced budget requirement remains intact, and moneys from the state’s reserve fund would only be used to pay for emergency wildfires. The budget includes about $13 million for youth homelessness, including $7.4 million towards grants administered by the Department of Commerce for shelters, transitional housing and short-term housing assistance. Mental health programs received about $40 million in new appropriations, including funding for additional staff at Western State Hospital and pay raises to attract and keep doctors. The budget also includes funding for Washington’s public charter schools, as provided by SB 6149, which passed both houses of the legislature but has not yet been acted on by the Governor.

40th Rep. Kristine Lytton, D-Anacortes: Yes

40th Rep. Jeff Morris, D-Mount Vernon: Yes

42nd Rep. Vincent Buys, R-Lynden: Yes

42nd Rep. Luanne Van Werven, R-Lynden: Yes

House Bill 2376: Making 2016 supplemental operating appropriations. Passed the Senate on March 29, 2016 by a vote of 27-17, five members excused.

40th Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island: Excused

42nd Sen. Doug Ericksen, F-Ferndale: Yes

House Bill 2988: Making expenditures from the budget stabilization account. Passed the House on March 29, 2016 by a vote of 88-7, three members excused.

The Budget Stabilization Account is commonly known as the state’s Rainy Day Fund. If monies are withdrawn from the account, the state balanced budget requirement for the next biennium could be suspended. This bill appropriates about $190 million to various state agencies for wildfire suppression, under an emergency declared last June by the Governor. These appropriations do not suspend the balanced budget requirement for the next fiscal biennium, keeping the 4-year balanced budget requirement intact.

40th Rep. Kristine Lytton, D-Anacortes: Yes

40th Rep. Jeff Morris, D-Mount Vernon: Yes

42nd Rep. Vincent Buys, R-Lynden: Yes

42nd Rep. Luanne Van Werven, R-Lynden: Yes

House Bill 2988: Making expenditures from the budget stabilization account. Passed the Senate on March 29, 2016 by a vote of 39-4, six members excused.

40th Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island: Excused

42nd Sen. Doug Ericksen, F-Ferndale: Yes

Senate Bill 6328: Concerning youth vapor product substance use prevention. Passed the Senate on March 28, 2016 by a vote of 37-6, six members excused.

The term “vapor product” is defined as a noncombustible, tobacco derived product containing nicotine that uses a mechanical element to heat and vaporize a liquid solution. Electronic cigarettes are a form of vapor product. Enactment of this bill creates a regulatory scheme governing commerce in vapor products that is enforced by the state Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) in conjunction with the state Department of Health (DOH.) It focuses on the prevention of the acquisition and use of vapor products by minors and creates regulations and requirements that include licensing and fee requirements for vapor products distributors, retailers, and Internet sellers; prohibition against the purchase, possession, and use by minors; and product labeling with information regarding product safety and nicotine content.

40th Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island: Excused

42nd Sen. Doug Ericksen, F-Ferndale: No

Senate Bill 6328: Concerning youth vapor product substance use prevention. Passed the House on March 29, 2016 by a vote of 74-20, four members excused.

40th Rep. Kristine Lytton, D-Anacortes: Yes

40th Rep. Jeff Morris, D-Mount Vernon: Yes

42nd Rep. Vincent Buys, R-Lynden: No

42nd Rep. Luanne Van Werven, R-Lynden: No

WashingtonVotes.org is a project of the Washington Policy Center.

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