OLYMPIA – Washington’s projected Near General Fund revenue collections for the current two-year state budget have increased by $308 million, according to estimates released today by the Washington State Economic and Revenue Forecast Council.
“Despite some weaker national economic data, stronger-than-expected revenue collections call for a modest upward revision to the revenue forecast this quarter,” said Steve Lerch, forecast council executive director.
Total Near General Fund collections are now projected at $38.1 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 — a budget that includes historic new investments in early learning, $1.3 billion in new funding for K-12 schools and a first-in-the-nation cut to higher education tuition.
The Revenue Forecast Council today also increased its forecast for the 2017–19 biennium by $127 million. Total Near General Fund collections are projected at $41 billion for the next biennium, which starts July 1, 2017.
With the latest forecast, the state is now projected to have nearly $1.5 billion in total reserves at the end of the current biennium and more than $1.4 billion at the end of the 2017–19 biennium. Those reserve figures, however, do not take into account the multibillion obligation the state faces in the next biennium to meet its constitutional obligation to fully fund basic education.
“It is good to see the continued improvement in our state’s economy and this modest uptick in revenue,” said David Schumacher, director of the Office of Financial Management. “And given the big challenges we face, it helps that we have healthy reserves going into the next biennium.”