Deadline on school funding plan

Lawmakers have missed a lot of deadlines recently.

And they’ve been given a pass.

The governor called two special legislative session with the hopes they can agree on a two-year operating budget.

Even the state’s top court has given them some breathing room when it comes to meeting an order to fully fund education or face sanctions.

But on July 27, 2015 or 15 days after the Legislature adjourns, whichever comes first, lawmakers will need to give “a complete plan for fully implementing the state’s program of basic education for each school year between now and the 2017-18 school year” to Washington’s Supreme Court.

The state’s top justice issued the order earlier this week. This won’t be the first time the state’s top court has asked for a plan.

Last year, lawmakers didn’t adequately meet the court’s requirements and they were declared in contempt of court.

On Wednesday, a bipartisan group of state senators presented a measure that would end the state’s reliance on local tax levies. The price tag is estimated at about $3.5 billion and it doesn’t detail how the measure would be funded. Lawmakers also said they did not expect it would pass this legislative session.

Democratic Sen. Christine Rolfes said on Thursday whether the most recent McCleary plan will satisfy the court is “anybody’s guess.”

After the court receives the state’s plan, justices will “convene to consider the adequacy of the state’s compliance and, if necessary, the imposition of contempt sanctions or other remedial measures.”

This time, the deadline seems unlikely to move.

Lauren Dake

Lauren Dake

Lauren Dake covers politics for The Columbian. You can reach her at 360-735-4534 or Follow her on Twitter .

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