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:

New revenue forecast emphasizes need for action on budget

November 19, 2008 - The Economic and Revenue Forecast Council today announced that the state's expected revenue will be over $400 million short of the amount needed to pay for current state commitments (2007-09). Including the 2009-11 bienium brings the total deficit to over $5 billion. Read the Update

New Tool to Understand the Budget Deficit

(Updated 12/08/08) November 13, 2008 - The Budget & Policy Center has created a resource for understanding the projected state budget deficit. The slide show outlines the current revenue situation and budget pressures.

Addressing Budget Deficit Requires Revenue

September 23, 2008 - Due to the economic downturn and a long-term structural problem with Washington State’s budget, we are facing a $3 billion deficit. This calls for comprehensive and deliberative efforts to address the problem. Read the Policy Brief

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.
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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.

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