Budget

Budget amendments adopted by Ways & Means include added funds for HEN, ECEAP and medical schools

Yesterday SB 5048, the 2017–19 operating budget bill, was passed out of the Senate Ways & Means Committee. Here’s a broad overview of the proposal as introduced, and here are more details.

More from the Senate budget proposal

The Senate Ways & Means Chair presented his 2017–19 operating budget proposal yesterday. I provided some highlights yesterday. Today the committee is expected to act on the budget bill (SB 5048) in executive session.

Senate Chair’s budget proposal would increase state spending by $4.8 billion

The Senate Ways & Means Committee’s chair has released his 2017–19 operating budget proposal. (There will be a public hearing on the proposal this afternoon.) Under the proposal, near general fund–state plus opportunity pathways (NGFS+) spending would increase by $4.814 billion over the 2015–17 biennium. NGFS+ spending would total $43.268 billion for the biennium. Of the increase, $3.742 billion would go to public schools.

Revenue forecast gives budget writers an additional $571 million for the 2017-19 budget

The state Economic and Revenue Forecast Council (ERFC) held its quarterly meeting today. The forecast of general fund–state (GF–S) revenue for the current biennium (2015–17) increased by $247.4 million to $38,227.1 million. The forecast of general fund-state revenue for the upcoming biennium (2017–19) increased by $303.0 million to $40,816.7 million, and the forecast of general fund-state revenue for the subsequent 2019–21 biennium increased by $186.0 million to $43,841.6 million. From 2015–17 to 2017–19 GF–S revenue growth equals 6.8 percent; from 2017–2019 to 2019–21, 7.4 percent.

State school funding system ruled unconstitutional...in Kansas

Washington isn't the only state grappling with K-12 education funding issues. On March 2, the Kansas state Supreme Court ruled that the State of Kansas was violating the state constitution by not adequately funding public schools. Sound familiar? The Kansas City Star reports:

Bill to avert levy cliff includes levy accountability provisions

Currently school districts are allowed to levy maintenance and operation (M&O) levies of up to 28 percent of their state and federal revenues. That maximum is scheduled to revert to 24 percent in 2018. This is the levy cliff.

90 Seconds podcast: Four-year balanced budgeting

In this episode we offer a brief overview of the four-year balanced budget requirement passed by the Legislature and signed by the governor in 2012.

To read our Policy Brief on the requirement (from May 2012), click here.

To read our blog post (from April 2016) defending the four-year balanced budget requirement, click here.

The House’s education funding plan would cost much more than the Senate’s

The state released its fiscal note of SSB 5607 (the Senate-passed education funding bill) on Friday. It shows a substantial gap between the resources needed to fund the Senate and House plans.

Policy Today podcast: Four plans in the Legislature for education funding

The biggest job for the Washington state Legislature this year is public school funding for grades K through 12. Right now there are four major plans before lawmakers, all responding to the state Supreme Court's McCleary ruling, which found that the state is not fully funding basic education. We discuss all four plans in this episode.

Read our Policy Brief offering a side-by-side comparison of the four plans here.

New brief: Comparing the Education Funding Proposals

There are now four major education funding plans circulating: Gov. Inslee's proposal, the House-passed ESHB 1843, the Senate-passed SSB 5607, and SB 5825 (a proposal from Sen. Mullet).

In a new policy brief, we provide a side-by-side comparison of the four plans. Briefly:

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