Washington Research Council



11th of May 2021

Across operating, capital, and transportation budgets, Legislature appropriated $10.1 billion in federal relief dollars (on top of $7.2 billion previously allocated)

Over $24 billion in federal relief has flown or will flow through Washington’s state and local governments. Of that, $7.238 billion was allocated by the governor last year or appropriated by the Legislature in early action bills this session. As part of the final operating, capital, and transportation budgets this session, the Legislature appropriated an […]

7th of May 2021

Including federal relief, Legislature increased operating appropriations to $67.365 billion for 2021–23

Operating appropriations passed by the Legislature from funds subject to the outlook (NGFO) are $52.562 billion for 2019–21 and $59.213 billion for 2021–23. (NGFO appropriations for 2021–23 are $20.0 million higher as passed by the Legislature April 25 than as proposed in the conference agreement. The difference is due to appropriations in ESB 5476.) The […]

29th of April 2021

State-funded policy changes would increase spending by $3.214 billion in 2021–23

Earlier I wrote about the 2021 supplemental budget passed by the Legislature on Sunday. The Legislature also passed a 2021–23 operating budget. Because the governor has not yet signed the budget, these numbers are not final. Additionally, future posts will look at the federal relief funding allocated in the budget. This post is solely about […]

26th of April 2021

Legislators didn’t need to cut spending this year because there was no budget shortfall, but transfer of reserves could leave budget vulnerable

The Legislature adjourned yesterday, on schedule. Legislators passed a 2021–23 operating budget that appropriates $59.193 billion from funds subject to the outlook. The Seattle Times reports, “Democratic budget writers hailed the spending plan as a bold investment that will pay dividends. They said they don’t want to repeat the steep and counterproductive spending reductions that […]

24th of April 2021

Operating budget conference report would appropriate $59.193 billion in 2021–23

The conference report for the operating budget would appropriate $52.562 billion for 2019–21 (a decrease of 2.1% from the 2020 supplemental, but an increase of 17.6% over 2017–19) and $59.193 billion for 2021–23 (an increase of 12.6% over revised 2019–21 appropriations). These figures are in terms of funds subject to the outlook (NGFO); they fall […]

21st of April 2021

Seven cities will again receive payments to mitigate sales tax revenue loss, through FY 2026

Gov. Inslee has signed ESHB 1521. Under the bill, the state will restart payments to certain local taxing districts to mitigate “the negative fiscal impacts to local taxing jurisdictions as a result of the streamlined sales and use tax agreement.” The payments will equal the payment each local taxing district received on June 30, 2020. […]

19th of April 2021

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 […]

9th of April 2021

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 […]

8th of April 2021

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 […]

6th of April 2021

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 […]