Comparing the House and Senate budget proposals

The House 2017–19 budget proposal would increase spending by $6.408 billion over 2015–17. Of that, $933.9 million is carryforward, $2.251 billion is maintenance, and $3.223 billion is policy.

The House and the Senate agree on the carryforward level (the biennialized cost of decisions already appropriated), but the House assumes a slightly higher maintenance level (caseload, enrollment, inflation changes) than the Senate (the difference is $7.3 million). This is all on a near general fund–state plus opportunity pathways (NGFS+) basis.

Senate-passed NGFS+ policy changes in the budget bill are $1.683 billion. The chart compares the policy changes in the Senate-passed budget and the House proposal. The chart combines the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), the “other human services” budget area, and the Department of Early Learning (DEL) because the House would make substantial shifts in funding that make comparing funding levels to those in the Senate budget difficult unless presented this way. First, the House proposal would create a Department of Children, Youth and Families, to which funding is transferred from DSHS and DEL. Second, the House proposal would transfer community mental health and substance abuse programs from DSHS to the Health Care Authority and Department of Health. 

(Dollars in the chart are in millions.)

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