Gov. Inslee's within-existing-revenues budget alternative ignores McCleary

The governor is required by law to propose a budget that balances within existing revenues—this is called the “Book 1” budget. The 2017–19 operating budget Gov. Inslee proposed last week certainly did not meet that criteria, but it represents his preferred spending program. It would increase near general fund–state plus opportunity pathways (NGFS+) spending by $8.242 billion.

More from the governor’s operating budget proposal

This week Gov. Inslee released his 2017–19 budget proposal. I’ve been looking through the numbers a bit more. (See here and here for posts giving an overview of the proposal.

Gov. Inslee’s proposed budget would increase spending by $8.2 billion

Gov. Inslee has proposed increasing the 2017-19 near general fund–state plus opportunity pathways (NGFS+) operating budget by $8.2 billion over 2015-17 expenditures. This number includes the $3.9 billion in education spending the governor proposed yesterday, and it includes both policy and maintenance level spending.

Gov. Inslee’s education proposal would increase spending by $3.9 billion and add $4.4 billion in new taxes

Today Gov. Inslee released his proposal to increase education spending in the 2017–19 biennial budget. Some of this proposed spending is related to the McCleary decision.

Results from the federally-funded research on paid family leave in WA

Last week Gov. Inslee’s office released some research on paid family leave.

Labor policy reprieves, in Seattle and the nation

Some updates from the past week on the status of the federal overtime rule and funding for Seattle’s Office of Labor Standards (OLS):

HCA and OFM offer prescription drug purchasing ideas for the state

Last week we released a report on prescription drug spending and Medicaid, and their impacts on the state budget. Coincidentally, the Health Care Authority (HCA) and Office of Financial Management (OFM) released a report to the Legislature the same day, called, “Review of Prescription Drug Costs and Summary of Potential Purchasing Strategies.”

Ag and timber in the news

I wanted to point out a couple of interesting stories I’ve read this week on the agriculture and timber industries.

First, Dick Davis writes in the Fall 2016 edition of Washington Business Magazine (see page 30) about new advances in agricultural technology. He discusses genetics, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, field architecture, and robots.

New Washington health exchange report shows steady enrollment so far in 2016

Yesterday the Washington Health Benefit Exchange sent out a press release headlined, “Washington Healthplanfinder Sees Jump in Enrollment.” I thought they must be announcing initial enrollment numbers for the first few weeks of the current open enrollment period (which runs from Nov. 1, 2016 through Jan. 31, 2017).

The new budget outlook includes an estimate of final McCleary costs, despite a lack of agreement on what that number will be

Yesterday the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council (ERFC) adopted a new budget outlook that includes the end of the 2015–17 biennium, 2017–19, and 2019–21. It is controversial in that it includes an estimate for how much it will cost to complete compliance with the McCleary decision on school funding.