Office of Planning & Budgeting

Fiscal Notes

During every Washington State legislative session, the University of Washington is required to provide information to the legislature regarding the fiscal impact of various proposed bills.

RCW 43.88A requires that the state Office of Financial Management (OFM) coordinate the development of fiscal impact statements (fiscal notes) on legislation or legislative proposals. OFM must also approve fiscal notes for form, accuracy, and completeness. The purpose of this process is to provide to the Legislature the estimated cost of legislation that is going through the legislative process.

Useful Resources

Responding to a Fiscal Note Request

If you are asked to respond to a fiscal note, you will receive an email froma Fiscal Note Analyst requesting a fiscal analysis of proposed legislation. The email will include the due date for the fiscal note, and a link directing you to the Bill Information webpage where you will find all information pertaining to the bill (bill text, movement within the legislature, etc.). You will generally have 2-3 business days to respond, unless otherwise noted in the request.

We suggest that you formulate your response using the UW Fiscal Note Template. However, if you would like to pull the information together on your own worksheet or in a narrative format, please include any working documents when you email back your response.

Tips for Completing a Fiscal Note:

  • Write for a general audience, avoid jargon, spell out acronyms
  • Report on the bill’s impact to the UW only (but include Bothell and Tacoma campuses, if necessary)
  • Report the incremental impact of the bill, i.e. the change from current law or current budget
  • Report current dollars only, do not build in inflation
  • Identify estimated costs/receipts as one-time or on-going
  • Identify implementation dates and take them into account when calculating costs, receipts and FTEs
  • Identify and explain all underlying assumptions
  • In the Expenditures section, report cost of benefits separate from salary costs
  • In the FTE section, report the number of FTE needed at each position/salary (not including benefits)
  • Provide explanation if there is no fiscal impact
  • Provide an explanation and a best estimate/range of scenarios if the fiscal impact is indeterminate

As a reminder, policy feedback (i.e. non-fiscal analysis and opinions) should be reported separately from the fiscal impact of a bill. To provide commentary on a bill, please use the “Policy Analysis” section in BillTracker.

Additional Resources

Please direct questions to

Kelsey Rote
Phone: 206.543.7466

OPB Policy, Planning & State Operations team contacts can be found here.