Department of Commerce

  Annual FTEs General Fund State Other Funds Total Funds
  (Dollars in Thousands)
Estimated Expenditures 330.3 240,503 602,582 843,085
Total Maintenance Changes 0.0 0 0 0
2019-21 Maintenance Level 330.3 240,503 573,524 814,027

2019-21 Policy Other Changes

Shift Housing Trust Fund Projects 0.0 0 (46,500) (46,500)
Rental Assistance 1.5 22,069 41,931 64,000
Foreclosure Assistance 0.0 3,875 0 3,875
Budget Savings 0.0 (822) (1,993) (2,815)
2019-21 Policy Other Changes Total 1.5 25,122 (6,562) 18,560
Total Policy Changes 1.5 25,122 (6,562) 18,560
2019-21 Policy Level 331.8 265,625 566,962 832,587

Policy Changes

Adjust to Available Revenue

Other Fund Adjustments

The Department of Commerce (department) requests additional expenditure authority in The Andy Hill Cancer Research Endowment Fund (Fund 19V), for the increase in forecasted revenue in this account.

Shift Housing Trust Fund Projects

The enacted 2020 supplemental budget provided $55 millon to the department to be used for affordable housing projects within the Housing Trust Fund program. The department will spend approximately $8 million toward these projects in fiscal year 2021. The remainder of the funding will be shifted to the Governor's proposed 2021-23 capital budget, and will be paid for using bonds. The unspent funding for Housing Trust Fund projects in the operating budget will be used toward other housing and homelessness-related programs. This reduction represents the unspent funds, most of which will be shifted to the Home Security Fund Account. (Washington Housing Trust Fund - State)

Rental Assistance

The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified the state’s homelessness crisis and has created greater financial insecurity for the estimated 250,000 households that were already struggling to pay their rent. In the spring of 2020, the Governor issued a moratorium on evictions for non-payment of rent, after which the state began using federal CARES Act funds to provide rent assistance to keep vulnerable households current on rent payments. In all, the state allocated $120 million of its federal relief funds to help thousands of Washingtonians stay in their homes; this funding lapses at the end of December 2020. Additional funding will allow the state to continue offering a rent assistance program starting in January 2021 and through the remainder of the 2019-21 biennium, supporting approximately 27,000 households per month. (General Fund - Federal, Home Security Fund Account - State, General Fund - State)

Foreclosure Assistance

The Foreclosure Fairness program provides foreclosure assistance to homeowners in Washington through housing counseling, civil legal aid, and foreclosure mediation. Tools that have been implemented with the CARES Act to provide relief from the economic conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have unfortunately also suspended the revenue stream that funds the Foreclosure Fairness Program. Additional funding will help stabilize the operations of the program and meet the increasing demand for foreclosure assistance. (General Fund - Federal, General Fund - State)

Budget Savings

This reduction reflects savings related to a freeze on hiring, personal services contracts and equipment purchases. (General Fund - Private/Local, Liquor Excise Tax Account - State, Foreclosure Fairness Account - Non-Appropriated, other funds)

Business Assistance Grants

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in significant negative impacts to small businesses in Washington. Additional resources are provided to help small businesses in some of the hardest-hit industries recover from these impacts. Grants will be prioritized for businesses with revenues of $5 million or less, and businesses in sectors that are most impacted by the recent public health measures or that have experienced significant, cumulative economic impacts. Examples include, but are not limited to, full-service restaurants, fitness centers, and music and event venues. Nonprofit entities may be eligible if they have a primary business activity that falls into one of these categories.