State Budget

Capitol -- horizontalWidely shared prosperity does not happen by accident. It happens when we deliberately invest in the foundations of a strong economy – broad and equal opportunity to good-paying jobs, safe and strong communities, access to great schools, clean air and water. These kinds of critical investments foster economic growth.

Washington state’s investments should:

•    Provide opportunity for all. When Washingtonians have access to great schools, health care, transportation, and work supports, they have the opportunity to prosper. And this can lead to improved long-term outcomes for families, communities, and the economy.

•    Ensure everyone can meet basic needs. When people hit hard times, they should not go without the basics: food, housing, and basic health care. State investments must protect seniors and people with disabilities and chronic illnesses, and they must ensure that working families have the opportunity to get back on their feet.

•    Advance racial equity. A person’s opportunity to get ahead should not be determined by their race, ethnicity, or zip code. All our state institutions – schools, health and human services, the justice and tax systems – must undo policies and systems that perpetuate structural racism. (Click here to read the Budget & Policy Center’s statement on equity.)

•    Create shared prosperity. A key foundation of a strong economy is a thriving middle class. That means jobs with good pay, strong benefits, and opportunities for advancement. Policymakers need to make targeted investments that strengthen the economic security of middle-income Washingtonians and provide people with low incomes the opportunity to move up the economic ladder.

Research highlights:

Related research:

Revenue forecast analysis

September 17, 2008 - Today's revenue forecast underlines the need to begin a deliberative discussion about the state budget. Read the Update

IN FOCUS: State Spending

July 17, 2008 - Over the last decade Washington’s state budget expenses have remained flat, dedicating just six percent of our economy to ensure our priorities are funded.

Forecast further underlines need for revenue

June 20, 2008 - As a state, we have rightfully made significant long-term investments in public education, health care, and early learning.. Read the update

Senate Budget Largely In Line with House Proposal

February 26, 2008 - The Senate budget, released today, is broadly in line with the House budget released last week. Both budgets generally maintain the commitments made in the current budget and make small adjustments. Read the update

House Budget Maintains Commitments but Misses Opportunity to Invest in Economic Security

February 20, 2008 - The House budget maintains most of the state's commitment to providing essential support for families and children with lower incomes.

ON POINT: Better Choices for Economic Security

February 12, 2008 - In light of the pending revenue forecast, state leaders have the opportunity to make the right investments now to minimize the effects of the economic downturn on families, communities, and the regional economy.

Governor's Budget: Important Investments, Long-Term Challenges

December 18, 2007 - Today Governor Gregoire released her supplemental budget to make adjustments to ensure Washington State is able to meet developing or unexpected expenses.

New revenue projection is $132 million lower

November 15, 2007 - The Economic and Revenue Forecast Council (ERFC) today released its revised estimate of revenue for the current biennium. Compared to the estimate released in September, revenue is projected to be $132.4 million less. Read the update

New revenue forecast brings more welcome news

September 14, 2007 - The Economic and Revenue Forecast Council released more good news today for Washington State. The latest forecast projects an additional $213 million for the 2007-09 biennium. Read the update

Census data backs need for children’s health insurance

August 28, 2007 - Census data released today indicates that tens of thousands of Washington children lack health insurance. Read the update

New analysis finds that Initiative 960 could have serious negative consequences for Washington State

August 6, 2007 - A new analysis of Initiative 960 completed by the Budget & Policy Center finds that the initiative will not further widely shared goals of improving government accountability and transparency.

New revenue forecast brings welcome news

June 14, 2007 - The State's Economic and Revenue Forecast Council released good news today for Washington State--revenue projections for the 2005-07 and 2007-09 biennia have been increased by a combined $484 million. Today's news provides support for government investment in education, health care, and savings for a rainy day.

House budget proposal follows Governor's lead

March 20, 2007 - The budget released today by the House of Representatives' Appropriations Committee follows the same general script as the Governor's budget proposal. Read the update

Updated revenue forecast brings mixed news

March 15, 2007 - The Economic and Revenue Forecast Council (ERFC) released an updated revenue forecast today with both good news and bad news for the state budget. Read the update

Tax Expenditure Reports A Tool for Transparent, Timely Budgeting

February 13, 2007 - A proposal to require reporting on the full impacts and costs of the hundreds of tax exemptions and special tax breaks is once again under consideration by the legislature.

State could do more to support struggling families: Benefit levels have not kept up with the cost of living

January 2007 - The monthly WorkFirst cash assistance benefit is a key part of the state’s social safety net, but it has not been increased since 1993.

1990s state tax cuts have limited Washington State's ability to fund public priorities

December 21, 2006 - The strong economy and resulting revenue growth of the middle and late 1990s led 44 states to cut taxes. Read the full update

Governor Gregoire's budget for 2007-2009 biennium released today

December 19, 2006 - Today, Governor Gregoire released her two-year budget proposal for 2007 to 2009, the starting point for the legislature when they convene in January.

New Revenue Forecast Numbers

November 16, 2006 - Today, the Washington State Economic and Revenue Forecast Council released preliminary results from their quarterly forecast of the economy, including updated projections of how much revenue the state will collect in coming years. Read the full update

Updated state economic and revenue projection

September 20, 2006 - Today, the Washington State Economic and Revenue Forecast Council released preliminary results from their quarterly forecast of the economy, including updated projections of how much revenue the state will collect in coming years.
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Our Policy Priorities

Washington state should be a place where all our residents have strong communities, great schools, and the chance for a bright future. Our 2017-2019 Legislative Agenda outlines the priorities we are working to advance to build a better Washington.

Testimonies in Olympia

To advance our legislative priorities, the Budget & Policy Center team was in the state capitol throughout session testifying on a wide range of bills. Watch our testimonies on TVW:
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