By: Jay Doran, Education Director of the Equal Justice Coalition
Good news! Our state officially has a budget for the next two years. Governor Inslee signed the budget into law on Tuesday, June 30th around 11:30 p.m. – successfully avoiding a partial government shutdown by about 30 minutes. And, civil legal aid received baseline funding plus a $718k maintenance increase. Given the circumstances of this session, this can be considered relatively successful.
During this long legislative session that has lasted roughly six months and has required three special sessions, our elected officials have grappled with extremely challenging issues, such as funding K-12 education, pay raises for state employees and teachers, and a statewide transportation package (click here for more in-depth budget analysis). In the midst of all of this, the EJC and its supporters worked hard to obtain a much needed increase for civil legal aid funding, as the need for legal aid services in our state has never been greater.