Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Washington Governor Signs Budget Bills

Steve Goldblatt, recently retired, longtime University of Washington Construction Management faculty member specializing in design and construction law, has been covering the legislative scene in Olympia for more than 25 years.
In this guest blog entry, Steve summarizes two budget bills recently signed by Governor Chris Gregoire.
Jobs Act Bonds: EHB 2561 (Chapter 35, 2010 Laws 1st Special Session) authorizes the state to issue $505 million in general obligation bonds—subject to voter approval in the November general election—to create jobs by constructing energy-saving capital improvements to public K-12 and higher education facilities. Consulting with General Administration and the WSU Extension Energy Program to establish a competitive process and evaluate applications, the Department of Commerce will determine final grant awards. Effective July 13, 2010.

Supplemental Capital Budget: ESHB 2836 (Chapter 36, 2010 Laws 1st Special Session, partial vetoappropriates $433 million for the 2009-11 biennium.  One of three vetoed sections would have eliminated the Office of Financial Management’s authority to transfer funds from one project to another within the same state agency, prohibited allotments for contingencies above the amount required for completion of a project and proposed alternatives if agencies could not document a programmatic need and operational budget saving, and prohibited allotments for equipment costs or project scope beyond the funded project. Effective May 4, 2010.

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