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Senate approves Hill's 2014 budget update
The Washington State Senate last week overwhelmingly approved Sen. Andy Hill’s 2014 supplemental budget proposal that continues prioritizing K-12 and higher education, meets the state’s four-year balanced budget requirement and keeps the state deficit free. Like 2013, Hill created a collaborative budget-writing process, which led to a strong bipartisan endorsement of the measure by a 41-8 vote.
“Coming into session with a balanced budget for the first time since 2008 gave us the opportunity to take meaningful and responsible steps when updating state spending,” said Redmond's Hill (R-45th Legislative District), who serves as chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee. “The opportunity to do that came about because of our bipartisan work last year prioritizing education and living within our means.”
The plan increases funding for college scholarships and grants and invests in K-12 classroom technology. The major budget theme both in education and in job creation surrounded emphasizing science, technology, engineering and math skills and opportunities.
“It’s incredibly easy to create a major long-term budget problem in supplemental years,” continued Hill. “That is why we exercised restraint in order to bring forward a plan that is sustainable and puts us in a better position to build on our commitment to education in the next major overhaul.”
The spending plan is now sent to House of Representatives for consideration where representatives are expected to take up their own plan before the two chambers reach final agreement.