OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington’s nearly $1 billion shortfall could grow after Wednesday’s revenue forecast. The state already faces higher than expected Medicaid costs. It’s widely expected the March forecast will show revenues coming in lower than expected. The governor and legislative budget writers have been waiting to see what the forecast brings before they roll out their spending proposals.
If the news is bad it’s going to make their job of balancing the budget all that much harder, especially when you factor in the Supreme Court ruling from last year that says the state is underfunding public education. The down payment for that for this next two year budget is somewhere in the $1 billion to $1.4 billion range.
Washington Governor Jay Inslee has said he will propose to eliminate some tax exemptions to help pay for schools. Lawmakers and the Governor have until April 24th to agree on a spending plan that balances the budget and pumps more money into education. If they fail to agree, they could go into special session.
On the Web:
Washington Economic and Revenue Forecast - State of Washington