Update on the budget and agriculture

We’re now about two-thirds of the way through the 2012 regular legislative session and are on the downhill slope toward the March 8 deadline. I’m slightly more optimistic that we may not have another special session due to the fact that most of the budget proposals that need to be passed before we can adjourn on time are beginning to rear their heads.

Last week, the state Economic and Revenue Forecast Council adopted its first quarterly state revenue forecast for 2012, which predicts the state will see $96 million more revenue for 2011-13 than was anticipated in November. Of that amount, $43 million comes from a bill the Legislature passed in December that changes when the state sells unclaimed property.

FarmAdditionally, there seems to be a continuing attack on the agriculture community currently underway. Though we’ve been able to defeat several bad bill proposals here in the Legislature, other attacks are coming from different sources. And there is a saying around Olympia that no bill is truly dead until the final gavel falls on the last day of session, so bills such as the genetically modified food labeling bill and the pesticide restriction bill have the potential to be resurrected at any time.