New brief: Legislature Passes 2017–19 Operating Budget That Increases Spending by $5.3 Billion

In a new policy brief, we provide an overview of the 2017-19 operating budget, as passed by the Legislature on June 30. Briefly:

  • The Legislature has passed a 2017–19 operating budget that appropriates $43.707 billion.
  • This is an increase in NGFS+ appropriations of $5.254 billion or 13.7 percent over 2015–17.
  • Revenues are estimated to increase by $1.614 billion due to an increase in the state property tax.
  • Other tax changes are estimated to increase revenues by $456.4 million.
  • The budget transfers $328.1 million to the NGFS+ from other funds.
  • It transfers $1.842 billion from the rainy day fund to other funds.
  • As part of the response to the McCleary decision, the budget appropriates $1.099 billion for school employee salaries.
  • Appropriations for public schools account for 50.3 percent of the NGFS+ budget.
  • Some of the rainy day funds will be used to pay for employer contributions to state employee retirement plans.
  • Collective bargaining agreements between state employees and the governor are funded.
  • As passed by the Legislature, the budget leaves an unrestricted ending fund balance of $985 million in 2017–19 and $42 million in 2019–21.

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