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Published on Friday, September 28, 2012

State budget

On September 19, the Washington Economic and Revenue Forecast Council reported that the state’s revenue is fairly flat, even slightly up. This is good news in the context of the last couple years, when the state has been hit by severe drops in revenue.

Nevertheless, the November revenue forecast is still key to what the Governor will base her proposed budget on and what the Legislature will begin working from next session. And even if the projections continue to be stable, or up again, legislators and the new Governor have a tough job come January.

The court decision on funding for K-12 education, McCleary v. State of Washington, mandates an increase in education spending. Some estimate it will take approximately $1 billion in the 2013-2105 biennium.

Another pressure on the upcoming state budget: the implementation of the new federal health care law. With that may come an expected increase in Medicaid recipients in the state that must be accounted for in the next budget.

And with a new Governor comes new priorities, which may cost money. Both candidates have expressed interest in tackling transportation – not an inexpensive problem. Stay tuned.

Categories: State budget