The Washington State Legislature dug deep this year to find new depths of despair in resolving the state’s budget woes. A last minute "defection" of three Senate Democrats to caucus with House Republicans and pass an operating budget (and an anathema to House Democrats) sent the Legislature into special session. And there it remains, as party leadership in House and Senate "work" with the Governor’s Office on a spending plan that will balance this biennium’s budget. Caught in this thrashing over the operating budget is the state’s commitment to capital spending – and with that what was once an emerging bipartisan idea to support construction sector job development by a big capital spend on public infrastructure projects (which would include energy efficiency investments in public buildings). At the moment, no deal is complete on the operating budget and with no operating budget in place, the fate of the capital budget (and the jobs effort) remains in limbo. NEEC remains hopeful that the importance of the job creating effort will spur legislators to do something, there is no guarantee.
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