Wash. Lawmakers Get Slightly Brighter Revenue Forecast

Feb 16, 2012

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Slightly up. That’s the upshot of Thursday’s Washington revenue forecast. This is the quarterly report that tells budget writers how much money they have to work with. Steve Lerch is Washington’s interim economic forecaster. He told a panel of lawmakers they can expect $96 million more than they expected to balance the budget. Lerch said Washington’s recovery continues, but it’s slow.

Steve Lerch: “Consumer and business confidence continue to be weak. But not everything is gloomy. I mean, there are some pluses in Washington in particular aerospace, software and our exports.”

Lerch warned that several factors still threaten to send the recovery into a tailspin, including ongoing concerns about a European debt crisis. Washington lawmakers got some other good news earlier in the week. Demand is falling for state services like healthcare for the poor. That represents a $340 million windfall and takes a significant bite out of the current $900 million budget shortfall. Next week, majority Democrats are expected to roll out their proposals for how to rebalance the current two-year budget.

Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network