While people often focus on the state revenue forecast, the caseload forecast is also a critical piece of the budget picture. Caseload forecasters predict everything from how many kids will show up at school in the fall to how many people will need state medical assistance. Today’s update shows increased caseload costs over the new biennium of $250 million from the prior forecast in March. Officials are hoping to manage the cost increases using a number of spending restrictions issued by Gov. Gregoire last month. Here’s a story on the caseload forecast from Brad Shannon in The Olympian.