Office of Planning & Budgeting

May 6, 2020

Economic and Revenue Forecast Council Releases April Budget Outlook

On Thursday, April 30, the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council met to review and approve the April 2020 budget outlook. The budget outlook used the February revenue forecast and contained no major changes to revenues or appropriations for the 2019-21 biennium. During their meeting, the Council acknowledged that there will likely be changes to the revenue forecast in June, but declined to speculate on the size of the impact.

In preparation for Thursday’s meeting, Council Chair Rep. Ed Orcutt requested that staff prepare an unofficial revenue forecast. The Seattle Times reported that, “preliminary numbers show Washington could lose $7 billion in state revenue through 2023 as the coronavirus pandemic takes its toll.” The unofficial forecast is “based on assumptions and come with ‘substantial uncertainty’ given state tax data isn’t yet available for March and April.”

The state’s rainy day fund is approximately $2.5 billion. It is likely that the legislature will convene after the official revenue forecast in June to adjust appropriations in the current biennium.

More background on the state revenue forecast is available here. OPB will provide updates on this blog in the event of a special legislative session, so stay tuned.