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Published on Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Governor releases hold steady supplemental budget

Yesterday Governor Inslee released what he referred to as a hold steady, get ready supplemental budget proposal. Hold steady because with little new revenue, his proposal offers only modest new spending compared to the overall size of the state budget. Get ready because next year the state will need to find $1–2 billion to adequately fund basic education as required by the McCleary decision.

The proposal includes $150 million in maintenance level spending (spending that needs to happen based on caseload forecasts and other required adjustments) and increasing overall general fund spending by $55 million – mostly for state information technology needs, education, prison capacity, and immediate social service needs.

Several items in the proposal may have direct impacts to cities over the next 18 months, including:

  • A technical fix to local liquor excise tax distributions. The budget passed last June inadvertently cut city and county liquor taxes to less than $13 million for the biennium when the Legislature intended its cuts to leave locals with nearly $25 million. This fix restores local liquor taxes to $25 million (while still redirecting more than $40 million of local liquor taxes to the state general fund).
  • $10 million for pre-construction loans through the Public Works Trust Fund.
  • Nearly $5 million to the Liquor Control Board for marijuana regulation and enforcement.
  • An additional $1 million to the Department of Commerce to provide additional staff in the Growth Management Division to provide technical assistance to local governments.
  • More than $700,000 for continued development of the state’s “Business One Stop Portal.”
  • Diverting $67 million from the Local Toxics Account to the Education Legacy Trust Account. The state will backfill the Local Toxics Account with bonds.

More details about the Governor’s proposal are available here

Categories: Federal, State budget