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Washington quarterly revenue projection down $1.2 billion

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Nov. 18, 2010

OLYMPIA – The November revenue forecast for Washington state government shows projected General Fund revenue down $1.2 billion. The forecast covers the remainder of this biennium (2009–11) as well as the next budget period (2011–13). The figure was released today by the Washington State Economic and Revenue Forecast Council, and includes revenue lost as a result of the passage of Initiative 1107.

According to Dr. Arun Raha, the state’s chief revenue forecaster, the economy is moving “more sideways than up,” suggesting that employment and revenue collections have not recovered to pre-recession levels. “We are starting to see signs of improvement in the economy, and revenues are up slightly in recent months, but employment growth is simply not improving significantly. By almost all accounts, the recovery is going to be slow and revenue gains will likewise eventually trend upward, but slowly.”

Revenue for the current budget period, 2009–11, is projected to decrease $385 million, resulting in total projected General Fund revenue for the biennium of $28 billion. Revenue for the next budget period, 2011–13, is projected to decrease $809 million, resulting in total projected General Fund revenue for that biennium of $33 billion.

“With today’s forecast, we can move forward knowing the size of the mountain we now face,” said Marty Brown, director of the state Office of Financial Management. “The governor’s budget proposal will contain significant reforms, reductions and eliminations across all parts of the state budget in response to far less revenue.”

The forecast projects an ending fund deficit for 2009–11 of $901 million. 

Contact: Glenn Kuper, 360-902-7607