Gov. Jay Inslee on Thursday released his 2018 supplemental budget, which adds nearly $1 billion to fully fund basic education in time for the 2018 school year and makes modest new investments for emerging and urgent needs such as tools to combat the opioid crisis, emergency preparedness, protection for endangered orcas and mental health.
“Let’s fund the final step of McCleary this year,” Inslee said. “The Legislature has invested billions of dollars in our schools over the past five years, including in a bipartisan effort to tackle the heaviest and most complicated part of the plan this past session related to local levies and compensation for educators. Our students and their teachers are counting on us to deliver the full funding they need — and we can deliver that full funding now.”
The governor’s supplemental budget also includes nearly $162 million to cover anticipated shortfalls in the state’s Medicaid program, which provides health care to more than 1.8 million Washingtonians. And it includes about $113 million to cover higher operating costs at the state’s psychiatric hospitals and to make changes to maintain federal funding for Western State Hospital.