March 15, 2007
Members of the Economic Revenue Forecast Council met in Olympia this morning and adopted a new forecast of general fund revenue projections that will give budget writers an additional $126.5 million to write the 2007-09 biennial operating budget. Dr. Chang Mook Sohn, the state’s chief revenue forecaster, said that revenue is up due to the overall strength of Washington’s economy, despite a gradual and expected slowdown in real estate activity.
Earlier this week, legislative budget officials received an unexpected windfall of about $200 million due to a drop in caseloads for several state programs such as low income medical care. Combined with today’s revenue forecast adjustment, the legislature has more than $300 million additional resources to use in crafting their budget proposals.
Rep. Helen Sommers (D-Seattle), chair of the House Appropriations Committee will release her 2007-09 biennial budget proposal next Tuesday March 20. Sen. Margarita Prentice (D-Renton), chair of the Senate Ways and Means Committee intends to unveil her spending plan the following week.