Blog

April 20 , 2021 - Emily Makings

Washington adopts goal to double the manufacturing employment base in the next decade

Gov. Inslee has signed SHB 1170. According to the bill, the legislature intends to identify and invest in strategies to ensure every geographic region of the state can benefit from a strong manufacturing and research and development base, with the goal of doubling the state’s manufacturing employment base, the number of small businesses, and the […]


April 19 , 2021 - WRC

New brief: Senate- and House-Passed Operating Budgets Would Needlessly Drain the Rainy Day Fund

The Senate and House have passed broadly similar operating budgets. Both would impose a capital gains tax. Both would increase spending from funds subject to the outlook (NGFO) by double digits in 2021–23. Both would appropriate billions of dollars in federal relief funds. Both would drain the rainy day fund. Across the 2021 supplemental and […]


April 16 , 2021 - Emily Makings

To fund housing programs, bill would impose a $100 document recording surcharge

The House-passed operating budget assumes passage of HB 1277. As passed by the House, E2SHB 1277 would impose a $100 surcharge on recorded documents. (Some documents would be exempt from the surcharge, including documents recording births and marriages.) Of the revenues from the surcharge, 5% would go to the affordable housing for all account (for […]


April 14 , 2021 - Emily Makings

Legislature passes captive insurance bill that will increase state revenues

The Legislature has passed 2SSB 5315, which will subject captive insurers to the 2% premium tax. Captive insurers are insurance companies controlled by the entities they insure. We wrote about the policy in a policy brief earlier this year. The bill is expected to increase revenues to funds subject to the outlook by $34.2 million […]


April 09 , 2021 - Emily Makings

Including federal relief funds, the spending increases in the operating budget proposals are extraordinarily high

As I showed yesterday, the state has already allocated or appropriated $7.311 billion in federal relief dollars. On top of that, the Senate-passed operating budget would appropriate $6.837 billion and the House-passed operating budget would appropriate $8.776 billion in federal relief over three years. This relief funding does not just maintain state spending (as the […]


April 08 , 2021 - Emily Makings

Senate- and House-passed budgets would appropriate $8.426 billion and $10.166 billion, respectively, in federal relief funding

Federal COVID relief legislation since March 2020 has appropriated more than $24 billion that has flowed or will flow through Washington’s state and local governments. Allocations from the latest bill, the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act, are still being determined, so the $24 billion figure will grow. (Indeed, note that the numbers in this post […]


April 06 , 2021 - Emily Makings

House-passed operating budget would appropriate $1.189 billion less than the Senate over three years

On Saturday the House passed its operating budget. As passed, it would appropriate $52.319 billion from funds subject to the outlook (NGFO) for 2019–21 (a decrease of 2.6% over the 2020 supplemental) and $58.479 billion from the NGFO for 2021–23 (an increase of 11.8% over the proposed 2021 supplemental). The House-passed budget would appropriate $1.189 […]


April 02 , 2021 - Emily Makings

Senate-passed operating budget would appropriate $59.282 billion for 2021–23, plus more than $6 billion in federal relief funds (over three years)

Yesterday the Senate passed its operating budget. As passed, the 2021 supplemental to the 2019–21 budget would appropriate $52.704 billion from funds subject to the outlook (NGFO). That’s a reduction of 1.9% from the enacted 2020 supplemental, but an increase of 17.9% over 2017–19. The 2021–23 biennial budget would appropriate $59.282 billion from the NGFO, […]


April 01 , 2021 - Emily Makings

New operating budget proposal from W&M ranking member would reduce taxes, leave the rainy day fund intact

Yesterday Sen. Wilson, ranking member of Ways & Means, proposed a striking amendment to the Senate operating budget. She had previously proposed a budget back in February, without the benefit of the improved March revenue forecast or the latest federal relief bill. The new proposal would appropriate $3.780 billion less in 2021–23 from funds subject […]


March 31 , 2021 - Emily Makings

The operating budgets approved by the W&M and Appropriations committees would reduce the four-year ending balances originally proposed by their chairs

On Monday, the Senate Ways and Means (W&M) Committee and House Appropriations Committee amended and approved their chairs’ proposed 2021 supplementals and 2021–23 operating budgets. Compared to the W&M chair’s original proposal, the budget passed by W&M would increase spending from funds subject to the outlook (NGFO) by $3.2 million in 2019–21 and by $81.5 […]