Washington Research Council



27th of April 2022

Twenty-four towns in Washington declined general federal relief money

Crosscut is running a nice series on the federal COVID relief money in Washington. An item from last month was about how six Washington cities did not claim their shares of the coronavirus state and local fiscal recovery fund (SLFRF). Some of these small towns said they refused the money because they had not racked […]

18th of March 2022

After the 2022 supplemental budget, Washington has about $145.6 million left of general federal COVID relief

The coronavirus state fiscal recovery fund (CSFRF) is the most flexible of the federal COVID relief money. The state of Washington received $4.428 billion from the CSFRF. (The funds must be obligated by Dec. 31, 2024 and spent by Dec. 31, 2026.) Last year, the Legislature appropriated $102.6 million of the CSFRF as part of […]

25th of February 2022

The Senate supplemental proposal would spend down general federal relief money; the House would save about $1 billion of it

Billions of dollars in federal relief have flowed to Washington in response to the pandemic. Some of that is earmarked by federal legislation for specific purposes, but the coronavirus state fiscal relief fund (CSFRF) may be used broadly in response to the pandemic and its economic effects. The state of Washington received $4.428 billion from […]

11th of January 2022

To reduce administrative burden, Treasury’s final rule for the coronavirus state & local fiscal recovery fund includes a $10 million standard allowance for the revenue loss provision

The U.S. Department of the Treasury has released the final rule for the coronavirus state & local fiscal recovery funds (SLFRF). (An overview is available here.) The SLFRF is $350 billion in federal relief that was appropriated as part of the American Rescue Plan Act. This is a fairly flexible pot of relief money. It […]

22nd of December 2021

NGFO and federal relief appropriations in Gov. Inslee’s supplemental operating budget would be 16.1% above 2019–21; other federal relief would be appropriated in capital and transportation budgets

Appropriations from funds subject to the outlook (NGFO) in Gov. Inslee’s supplemental operating budget would be 18.2% over 2019–21. At the same time, his operating budget proposal would increase appropriations of federal COVID relief. Together, NGFO and federal relief appropriations in the operating budget proposal would be 16.1% over 2019–21 (after increasing by 35.2% in […]

6th of December 2021

New data from OSPI shows how school districts are using federal relief funds (20% has been spent so far)

The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) has created a useful spreadsheet showing how school districts have used their federal Elementary and Secondary Schools Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds. It includes claims processed through Nov. 2021, and it will be updated going forward. (The spreadsheet can be accessed from this page.) The federal government appropriated […]

17th of November 2021

Notes from the Ways & Means work session: Bank tax revenues, CBA costs, and one city’s rejection of federal relief funds

On Monday, the Senate Ways & Means Committee held a work session that included several items of fiscal interest. (The meeting can be watched here.) First, Dr. Lerch of the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council gave an update on the economic outlook. That day it was announced that with the November collections report, revenues have […]

8th of October 2021

How fast is federal relief being used?

Earlier I wrote that federal relief for Washington’s governments, businesses, and individuals now exceeds $100 billion. Some of the funding for governments is fairly flexible—for example, the coronavirus state and local fiscal recovery funds. I reviewed reporting by the most populous governments in Washington on how they are spending those funds here. Little had been […]

Federal relief funds to governments, businesses, and individuals in Washington now total over $100 billion

Federal COVID relief that has been allocated for Washington’s governments, businesses, and individuals now totals $101.7 billion. Of that, $75.4 billion has gone or will go to businesses and individuals and $26.3 billion is flowing through our state and local governments. (This money will be spent over several years. For context, state and local governments […]

20th of September 2021

Through July 31, addressing negative economic impacts was the largest planned use of federal fiscal recovery funds for Washington and its most populous local governments; little had actually been spent

Washington state and its largest local governments have spent very little of their Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds so far, according to performance reports filed at the end of August. Meanwhile, funding to address negative economic impacts accounts for nearly half of planned expenditures (across all reporting governments). The American Rescue Plan Act […]