November 30 , 2022 - Emily Makings

PFML task force votes on final rate structure recommendations

Today the Legislative Task Force on Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Premiums voted to recommend changes to the paid family and medical leave (PFML) program rate structure. At the end of last week’s meeting of the task force, it didn’t sound like members would be prepared to vote today. But they apparently had productive […]

November 30 , 2022 - Emily Makings

Capital gains taxes in the November revenue forecast

In March, a Superior Court judge ruled that the state capital gains tax is unconstitutional. (Despite that, the Legislature chose to include capital gains revenues in the operating budget, as we explained here.) The state Supreme Court will hear the case on Jan. 26, but a decision could come after capital gains taxes are due […]

November 30 , 2022 - Emily Makings

November revenue forecast improves the balance sheet, but how will inflation impact state costs?

The November revenue forecast increased the estimates of revenues from funds subject to the outlook (NGFO) compared to the September revenue forecast, as Kriss reported. Compared to the Feb. 2022 forecast, on which the current operating budget is based, NGFO revenues are now expected to be up $3.078 billion over 2021–23 and 2023–25. The 2023–25 […]

November 29 , 2022 - Emily Makings

Task force on paid family and medical leave premiums considers proposals to change the rate structure

The Legislative Task Force on Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Premiums met last Tuesday to discuss five proposed recommendations for changes to the paid family and medical leave (PFML) premium rate structure. Premium rates would be above 0.6% in all scenarios through at least 2027. Changes are necessary because the program has run deficits […]

November 18 , 2022 - Kriss Sjoblom

Forecast of state revenues increased

At its quarterly meeting today, the state Economic and Revenue Forecast Council (ERFC) updated its forecasts of state revenues. These new forecasts add more than $1.4 billion to the amount available over the current and next bienniums. Budget reports from legislative fiscal committees typically roll up four accounts: the general fund–state, the education legacy trust […]

November 17 , 2022 - Emily Makings

Adjusting the NGFO balance sheet for the most recent information on revenues and spending indicates an estimated $150 million shortfall in 2023–25

David Schumacher, director of the Office of Financial Management, has tried to get state agencies to manage their expectations for the 2023–25 operating budget. And rightly so: we estimate that the balance sheet for the biennium is already in a negative position. When the Legislature adopted the 2022 supplemental to the 2021–23 biennial budget, it […]

November 14 , 2022 - Emily Makings

November caseload forecast is estimated to increase spending by about $103 million in 2021–23 and $602 million in 2023–25

The Caseload Forecast Council (CFC) adopted a new caseload forecast last week. This forecast will help inform the maintenance level (the cost of continuing current services, adjusted for inflation and enrollment) for the governor’s budget proposal. According to a preliminary cost estimate from the Office of Financial Management, the forecast is estimated to increase general […]

November 10 , 2022 - Emily Makings

School districts in Washington have spent 52% of their federal relief money; of the amount spent, 44.5% is categorized as “indirect” or “other”

Last week the Seattle Times editorial board wrote about recent student test scores and asked why so much of the federal relief money for schools is still unspent. Further, it wrote, “It’s puzzling to examine school district spending choices so far.” There were three rounds of federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER). Washington […]

November 04 , 2022 - Emily Makings

City of Seattle’s November revenue forecast shows weakened real estate excise tax expectations; year-over-year regular general fund revenues are about flat

The City of Seattle’s Office of Economic and Revenue Forecasts (OERF) presented its November revenue forecast on Wednesday. General fund revenues over the 2022 through 2024 period are now estimated to be down by a net of $9.4 million compared to the revenues anticipated in Mayor Harrell’s proposed 2023–24 budget. General fund revenues over that […]

October 28 , 2022 - Emily Makings

A new forensic hospital may crowd out other 2023–25 capital budget spending

Appropriations from all funds in the 2021–23 capital budget (as amended by the 2022 supplemental) are 54.7% higher than in 2019–21. That’s the largest increase in capital budget spending going back to at least the mid-1990s. Bonds make up a significant percentage of capital budget resources; thus, the capital budget is constrained by the constitutional […]