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State revenue forecast for current budget grows by $336 million

Revenue projection for next biennium increases by $134 million

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Sept. 21, 2016
CONTACT: Ralph Thomas, 360-902-7607; ralph.thomas@ofm.wa.gov

OLYMPIA – Washington’s projected Near General Fund revenue collections for the current two-year state budget have increased by $336 million, according to estimates released today by the Washington State Economic and Revenue Forecast Council.

“The long, slow improvement in the economy has continued, leading to only modest changes in our revenue forecast this quarter,” said Steve Lerch, forecast council executive director.

Total Near General Fund collections are now projected at nearly $38.5 billion for the current two-year budget cycle (2015–17), which began July 1, 2015.

Gov. Jay Inslee in April signed the state’s 2016 supplemental budget, which made modest adjustments to the $38 billion 2015–17 budget.

The Revenue Forecast Council today also increased its forecast for the 2017–19 biennium by $134 million. Total Near General Fund collections are projected at $41.2 billion for the next biennium, which starts July 1, 2017.

With the latest forecast, the state is now projected to have more than $1.8 billion in total reserves at the end of the current biennium.

“Today’s increase in our revenue forecast is only modest, but it’s great to see our state’s economy continuing to move in the right direction,” said David Schumacher, director of the Office of Financial Management. “Certainly, having nearly $2 billion in reserves will be a big help given the challenges we will face in the next biennium to fund education and meet other critical needs.”