The 2018 supplemental operating budget meets the state’s final basic education obligations under the McCleary lawsuit, adds crucial funding for behavioral health services, provides property tax relief for homeowners and invests in strategies to fight the opioid epidemic.

The 2017 -2019 operating budget fully funds schools for the first time in decades, and avoids damaging cuts to services and programs that help families and workers while putting significant new resources into reforming and strengthening Washington’s mental health system.

The 2018 supplemental budget includes:

  • $970 million to fully fund the state’s basic education obligations in the 2018–19 school year. This investment is expected to finally bring an end to the years-long McCleary lawsuit. Over the past four years, in response to the lawsuit, the state has added billions of dollars in new funding for public schools. K-12 spending will make up nearly 51 percent of total state General Fund spending — the highest level in more than 30 years.
  • $27 million to boost funding for special education
  • Cuts property taxes in 2019 for homeowners and businesses.
  • Makes significant investments and reforms to the state’s behavioral health system, including about $157 million in new state funding to expand behavioral health services in communities, make vital improvements at the state’s psychiatric hospitals and funds a package of strategies the governor advanced to combat the state’s opioid crisis.
  • Includes $1.5 million to protect Southern Resident killer whales and support the governor’s efforts to develop a long-term orca recovery plan.
  • Provides funding to strengthen the state’s earthquake and tsunami preparedness, improve efforts to prevent oil spills and increase the state’s wildfire prevention and response capabilities

2017 successes:  

  • New department of Children,Youth and Families --  the governor signed a bill to restructure how the state serves at-risk children and youth. After a yearlong transition period that began July 2017, the new agency will oversee several services now offered through the state Department of Social and Health Services and the Department of Early Learning. These include all programs from the Children’s Administration in DSHS such as Child Protective Services, the Family Assessment Response program and adoption support, as well as all DEL services, including the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program for preschoolers and Working Connections Child Care.
  • Paid family leave -- Washington became the fifth state in the U.S. to establish a paid family and medical leave program for workers.The law, signed by the governor was passed with strong bipartisan support and will be in place by 2020. It creates the Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program, which will provide everyone in the workforce with up to 12 weeks of paid medical leave, and up to 12 weeks of paid time off to care for a new child or an ailing family member. That leave is capped at 16 weeks if the employee needs both types of time off in a one-year period.

Full detail on the final 2017 - 2019 enacted budgets can be found on the Office of Financial Management website.


Key Successes


  • Results Washington teams developed improvement plans for nearly 200 goals, measured results and collaborated with partners and among state agencies on solutions. 
  • Gov. Inslee launched monthly Results Review meetings to assess progress. 
  • Thousands of state employees learned Lean principles to improve their work. 
  • Lean improvement efforts in state agencies resulted in faster permits, shorter forms, quicker responses to public disclosure requests and millions of dollars in savings.  
  • The 2016 supplemental budget includes funding to cover the costs of last year’s record wildfire season, make the technical and caseload adjustments required in any supplemental year to continue vital services to Washingtonians, pay for collective bargaining agreements, and continue to strengthen mental health funding and services. The Legislature also made progress on the next legislative commitments needed to reach agreement on major education funding improvements next year. The 2015–17 budget fully funded materials, supplies, and operating costs, and curriculum; full day kindergarten for all students beginning in 2016-17 school year; and made progress in reducing the K-3 class size. The governor will release his budget for the 2017 - 2019 biennium in December 2016.



  • Lean savings. Through Results Washington, the state has effectively engaged its employees, partners and the public in building a healthier, better-educated and more prosperous Washington. Initial reports from Results Washington show the state has saved millions of dollars in 2014, is reducing future costs, and better tracking outcomes of current state spending.


  • Hold-steady budget which invests in education, human services and other critical shortfalls.
    • Gov. Inslee and lawmakers crafted a budget that put more than $1 billion in K-12 education and put a freeze on college tuition, while protecting — and in some cases enhancing — funding for programs that protect our most vulnerable citizens and ensure public safety. They also addressed critical shortfalls in a few areas, such as state parks.
    • The budget fully embraced Medicaid expansion as allowed under the federal Affordable Care Act. By doing that, the state should save more than $300 million over two years.  
    • The 2013–15 capital budget included:
      • $3.6 billion for new projects statewide and provides $2.8 billion for the continuation of projects underway.
      • Approximately $600 million into new construction for K-12 education and ~$500 million to complete construction projects underway.
      • $56 million in housing investments for farmworkers, veterans, people with chronic mental illness and people with developmental disabilities.
      • $40 million in technologies that save energy, reduce energy costs, cut harmful air emissions and boost energy independence for Washington.


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