A new budget outlook, and possible budget process changes

Yesterday the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council adopted a four-year budget outlook based on Gov. Inslee’s proposed 2017–19 operating budget. According to the outlook, his proposal would leave a near general fund–state plus opportunity pathways (NGFS+) unrestricted ending balance in 2019–21 of negative $2.041 billion (and total reserves would be negative $596 million).

Not preventing invasive species would be costly

Last week the Washington Invasive Species Council released an economic impact study of invasive species in Washington. The study provides “a snapshot of total economic impact within a single year if no prevention or management activities occurred.”

The three worst offenders are apple maggots, rush skeletonweed, and scotch broom.

Roundup of Seattle business climate issues

Several policies impacting Seattle’s business climate have been in the news recently.

Side-by-side comparison of paid family leave bills

Two paid family leave bills have been introduced so far this session: SB 5032 (and the identical HB 1116) and SB 5149. Lens has a good story on the issue.

Policy Today podcast: New report on Gov. Inslee's proposed state budget

In today's podcast we do a deep dive into Gov. Jay Inslee's 2017-19 state budget proposal, the subject of our latest Special Report which you can read here.

The governor's budget plan includes $4.762 billion in new spending and $4.369 billion in new and increased taxes, including a new carbon tax and a new capital gains tax.

New report: Gov. Inslee's 2017-19 Operating Budget Proposal Would Significantly Increase Spending and Taxes

In a new report, we provide an overview of Gov. Inslee's proposed operating budget for the next biennium. Briefly:

Challenges mount for fossil fuel projects

For several years, oil terminal projects have been in the works at the Port of Grays Harbor in Hoquiam—Westway and Imperium. The Imperium project was canceled by the company in 2016, and Westway is now called Contanda.

How Washington state ranks on federal aid

The Tax Foundation is out with a new ranking: "Which States Rely the Most on Federal Aid?" Washington state is #33, with 29.2 percent of its Fiscal Year 2014 state general revenue coming from the federal government.

The Foundation notes:

2017 Legislative Session Starts Today

The state Legislature begins its 2017 session today. This being an odd-numbered year, session is scheduled to last 105 days, with an April 23 adjournment date. Almost nobody believes lawmakers will finish their business by then, however, in which case the governor can call a special session (or a series of special sessions as the case may be).

Big issues on tap for this year include:

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