As we enter the homestretch of the 2022 legislative session, it’s budget week in Olympia.
In odd-numbered years, the Legislature is required to create and pass three budgets: an operating budget, a transportation budget, and a capital budget. In the even-numbered years, like this one, lawmakers use the short session to make supplemental changes that reflect new or emergency needs, changes in revenue and shifting priorities.
The operating budget, which is by far the largest of the three, funds the daily operations of our state government. It includes state spending on human services, education, natural resources, law and justice issues and state employee salaries. The transportation budget pays for construction and maintenance for roads, bridges and ferries, and the Washington State Patrol. Finally, the capital budget invests in the construction and repair of buildings such as schools, state offices and historical sites.
On Wednesday, we passed the bipartisan plan that now represents the Senate’s supplemental capital budget. It is by far the least partisan and least controversial of the three budget proposals. The operating and transportation budgets are more contentious. You can read more about the budget deliberations below.