State Relations

State Revenue Forecast is Mixed

Today (March 20) the Revenue Forecast was released. The forecast is prepared by the state’s nonpartisan Economic and Revenue Forecast Council, and used by both the executive and legislative branches in budget preparation.

Budget writers in the House and Senate can now finish up their respective proposals, as the overall picture moves into focus.

For more detail, read the UW Office of Planning & Budgeting’s brief on the forecast (PDF).

Watch the forecast report on TVW:

[tvw query="eventID=2013030011&start=&stop=" width="550" height="320"]Overall, revenues were up in the 2011-13 Biennium, and down in the 2013-15 Biennium.

The Seattle Times summed up today’s forecast as “good news“:

…The state will take in $59 million more than expected in the current fiscal year and $19 million less over the next two years. Bottom line: Budget writers have an extra $40 million to work with.

Read the full report. This slide from the Revenue Review outlines the conclusions:

Revenue Forecast Conclusion Slide

ERFC, March 20, 2013

On the bad news side of the ledger, the State’s Chief Economist reported that economic uncertainty remains relatively high, with events in Europe (Greece, Cyprus), China and Washington, D.C. (sequestration) having the potential to put a further drag on the state and national economy.

Taking into account today’s Revenue Forecast, and the Caseload Forecast last week, the overall deficit is now pegged at about $1.3 billion. The State Legislature will also be working to address the State Supreme Court’s McCleary decision, which calls for increasing K-12 education funding.

The State Senate’s budget is expected to be released the last week of the month, or the first week of April. House Appropriations Chair Ross Hunter indicated that the House would have a proposal out shortly after the Senate.

David Schumacher, Director of the Office of Financial Management, signaled that the Governor’s budget priorities would be released by the end of next week.

Senate Democrats live-blogged the meeting here, and TVW has a blog write-up with reaction from lawmakers.

Media Buzz: