Local government budgeting issues

At the Municipal Research and Services Center’s blog, Stan Finkelstein offers some useful budgeting advice for local governments. He notes,

Many local officials have incorporated into their 2017 budgets the filling of new positions, expansion or growth of services, and the incurring of new debt to be serviced by General Fund/Current Expense revenues.

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.

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.”

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.

New-ish filing in McCleary case

In all the pre- and post-election news, we missed a recent filing with the state Supreme Court on the McCleary education funding case.

New Special Report: How Medicaid and Prescription Drug Spending Impact the State Budget

Today we're out with a new Special Report on Medicaid, prescription drug spending and the state budget. You can read it here.

Here are some highlights:

New in the McCleary case: The AG answers the Supreme Court's questions

The attorney general’s office has responded to the state Supreme Court’s July 14 order in the McCleary case. No big surprises here -- the brief argues the contempt order should be dissolved and the sanctions ended.