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.

Roundup of year-end agency news

A number of agency announcements have made my inbox over the last month:

Common Ground podcast: David Postman, Gov. Inslee's Chief of Staff

Our last podcast of the year is in a pub, with special guest David Postman, Gov. Jay Inslee's chief of staff. We sit down over beers (and a Coke for Postman, who's on cold meds) at the delightful Hopvine Pub in Seattle to chat about Postman's career in journalism and now government, as well as what's in store for the upcoming legislative session.

Auditor: Room for improvement in agencies’ implementation of the Regulatory Fairness Act

The State Auditor’s Office has identified several ways to make Washington’s Regulatory Fairness Act work better. This new performance audit is part of a regulatory reform series the SAO began in 2011.

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.

Policy Today podcast: Expanded state environmental regulations threaten union jobs

Today's topic is the expanded state environmental regulations that, due to their arbitrary and excessive nature, threaten to send good-paying jobs - many of them union jobs - out of Washington state.

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.

Policy Today podcast: Gov. Inslee's Budget Proposal

This week Gov. Jay Inslee proposed a state operating budget for 2017-19. It would increase spending by $8.2 billion over the previous biennium - including $3.9 billion more for K-12 education - and raise taxes by $4.4 billion. His tax proposal includes a new capital gains tax. We delve into the details in this podcast.

You can read our quick analysis of his budget proposal here.

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.