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State revenue forecast for 2017–19 budget inches upward

November 20, 2017

Communications - Ralph Thomas

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Ralph Thomas, OFM Communications Director

OLYMPIA – Washington’s projected Near General Fund revenue collections for the 2017–19 state budget have increased by nearly $319 million, according to estimates released today by the Washington State Economic and Revenue Forecast Council. The increased revenue estimate is a 0.7 percent increase over the previous forecast.

“The U.S. and Washington economies continue to perform largely as expected in our September forecast,” said Steve Lerch, forecast council executive director. “As a result, we have made relatively small adjustments in our forecast update.”

Total Near General Fund revenue — including increases approved by the Legislature — are now projected at nearly $44.4 billion for the current two-year budget cycle (2017–19), which began July 1.

The state is now projected to have nearly $2.8 billion in total reserves at the end of this biennium.

“The continued growth of the state’s economy is encouraging,” said David Schumacher, director of the Office of Financial Management. “While today’s forecast increase is small, it will help as we continue to wrestle with a very challenging state budget situation.”

The two-year budget adopted in June contains some significant “holes,” such as savings assumptions that are unlikely to be achieved, Schumacher noted. Meanwhile, the State Supreme Court this week ruled the Legislature still has work to do in meeting the state’s constitutional obligation to fully fund basic education.

Gov. Jay Inslee next month will put forward his proposed adjustments to the 2017–19 budget.