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

By: Emily Makings
12:45 pm
April 6, 2021

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 billion less over three years (NGFO) than the budget passed by the Senate.

Floor amendments added $26.0 million in NGFO appropriations to the version that was passed by the House Appropriations Committee last week. Of that, $15.0 million is due to an amendment from Rep. Barkis that would add funding for cities and counties “to address the safety and public health risks associated with homeless encampment sites located on the public right-of-way and other public property.” As passed, the House budget would leave an unrestricted NGFO ending balance in 2023–25 of $63 million.

Some notes on the House-passed budget bill:

  • $600.0 million would be transferred from the coronavirus state fiscal relief fund (part of the federal American Rescue Plan Act) to the unemployment insurance relief account and then used to provide UI tax relief in calendar year 2022 “for businesses most heavily impacted by unemployment related to the COVID-19 public health emergency.”
  • The bill includes the same child care language as the Senate: “the state lacked the fiscal capacity to make these investments and the additional federal funding has provided the opportunity to supplement state funding to expand and accelerate child care access, affordability, and provider support as the state navigates the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath.”
  • The budget would transfer $600.0 million from the Law Enforcement Officers’ and Firefighters’ (LEOFF) Plan 2 Retirement fund to the local LEOFF retirement system benefits improvement account. This is unusual; the purpose of the transfer is not clear.

On top of the NGFO spending, the House operating budget would also appropriate $8.613 billion in federal relief dollars (over three years). (Although the House would appropriate less than the Senate from the NGFO, the House would appropriate more federal relief dollars than the Senate.) Stay tuned for more on how the budgets use federal relief funding.

(Previous posts on the budgets are available here.)

Categories: Budget.
Tags: 2019-21 , 2021-23