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State revenue forecast for current budget grows by $222 million

Revenue projection for next biennium increases by $132 million

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Nov 16, 2016
CONTACT: Kate Lykins Brown, 360-902-0619; Kate.LykinsBrown@ofm.wa.gov

OLYMPIA – Washington’s projected Near General Fund revenue collections for the current two-year state budget have increased by $222 million, according to estimates released today by the Washington State Economic and Revenue Forecast Council.

“Long, slow improvement continues to characterize the economic forecast, though a dip in housing permits and movement in other indicators suggested we should make modest changes to our revenue forecast this quarter,” said Steve Lerch, Forecast Council executive director.

Total Near General Fund collections are now projected at $38.7 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 $132 million. Total Near General Fund collections are projected at $41.3 billion for the next biennium, which starts July 1, 2017.

With the latest forecast, the state is now projected to have $2.1 billion in total reserves heading into the next biennium. Inslee will unveil his proposed 2017–19 state operating, capital and transportation budgets next month.

“Even with the modest revenue gains the state has enjoyed this year, we face a number of big budget challenges in the next biennium,” said David Schumacher, director of the Office of Financial Management. “Besides the significant investments needed to meet the state’s basic education obligations, we have issues to address in our mental health system and in children and family services.”