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
2021-23 Maintenance Level 311.4 250,299 509,768 760,067
Difference from 2019-21 (18.9) 9,796 (92,814) (83,018)
% Change from 2019-21 (5.7%) 4.1% (15.4%) (9.8%)

2021-23 Policy Other Changes

Expand Anchor Communities 0.0 4,000 0 4,000
Healthy Homes & Clean Buildings 0.0 2,946 0 2,946
Digital Navigators 0.0 6,000 0 6,000
Marijuana Social Equity Program 0.0 0 1,100 1,100
Preservation/Development Authority 0.0 480 0 480
Broadband Equity and Access 3.0 3,195 0 3,195
Rental Assistance 3.0 164,000 0 164,000
Equitable Statewide Small Business 5.0 6,609 0 6,609
Shift HTF Project Administration 0.0 0 (2,183) (2,183)
Community Technical Assistance 2.0 1,130 0 1,130
Economic Inclusion Grants 0.30 500 0 500
Foreclosure Assistance 0.0 13,400 0 13,400
PWRG Steering Committee Per Diem 0.0 200 0 200
2021-23 Policy Other Changes Total 13.3 202,460 (1,083) 201,377

2021-23 Policy Comp Changes

Pension Adjustments, nonrate 0.0 30 26 56
State Employee Benefits 0.0 (40) (11) (51)
WFSE General Government 0.0 (526) (1,156) (1,682)
Temporary Layoffs and Other Savings 0.0 (1,147) (336) (1,483)
Rep Employee Health Benefits 0.0 (24) (52) (76)
Non-Rep General Wage Increase 0.0 (632) (286) (918)
2021-23 Policy Comp Changes Total 0.0 (2,339) (1,815) (4,154)

2021-23 Policy Central Services Changes

Archives/Records Management 0.0 2 1 3
Audit Services 0.0 (6) (5) (11)
Legal Services 0.0 (23) (28) (51)
CTS Central Services 0.0 185 234 419
DES Central Services 0.0 13 14 27
OFM Central Services 0.0 279 185 464
2021-23 Policy Central Services Changes Total 0.0 450 401 851
Total Policy Changes 13.3 200,571 (2,497) 198,074
2021-23 Policy Level 324.7 450,870 507,271 958,141
Difference from 2019-21 (5.6) 210,367 (95,311) 115,056
% Change from 2019-21 (1.7%) 87.5% (15.8%) 13.6%

Policy Changes

Expand Anchor Communities

The Anchor Community Initiative is a public-private partnership between the state and the nonprofit group, A Way Home Washington. The initiative aims to reduce youth and young adult homelessness to “functional zero” (when a community has the capacity to house every homeless person) by 2022 in four pilot communities. State funding provides critical services necessary to assist the organization in meeting this goal, including rent assistance, shelter and clinical behavioral health services. Additional funding will support A Way Home Washington's efforts in identifying four new anchor communities by 2024 and will be used to leverage additional philanthropic investment. (General Fund - State)

Healthy Homes & Clean Buildings

In the 2021 legislative session, the governor will propose legislation to update energy code statutes to deliver construction of zero-emission fossil fuel-free homes and buildings by 2030, establish a clean heat standard, and establish a heat pump and electrification program to support the transition of residential and commercial buildings away from fossil fuels. Funding is provided for the costs that will be incurred by the department to implement the bill, including rulemaking, staffing, education and outreach, customer support and technical assistance services. (General Fund - State)

Digital Navigators

The COVID-19 pandemic has illuminated digital access inequities negatively impacting Black, Indigenous, and Communities of Color, low-income communities, students, and elders. Digital access organziations statewide are working to close this digital divide. This new investment would create a Digital Navigator Program in ten regions across the state, with two navigators in each region. The digital navigators will provide one-on-one assistance to supply devices like laptops, tablets and WiFi hotspots, connect families to existing opportunities, and administer basic digital skills support. Funding provided to the department will be granted to an entity that is capable of performing this work. (General Fund - State)

Marijuana Social Equity Program

The 2020 Legislature enacted E2SHB 2870 which created a new Marijuana Social Equity Program at the Liquor and Cannabis Board. The purpose of the program is to provide a path to marijuana retailer licensure for applicants who reside in disproportionately impacted areas or who have been convicted of a misdemeanor marijuana offense. To help applicants submit plans under this program, the bill created an additional technical assistance grant program at the Department of Commerce. Eligible activities for these grants include assistance navigating the retailer licensure process, marijuana business-specific education, and business plan development. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, implementation of this grant program has been delayed. Appropriation authority is shifted from the 2019-21 biennium to the 2021-23 biennium so that grant funding that would have awarded in fiscal year 2021 does not lapse. (Dedicated Marijuana Acct - State)

Preservation/Development Authority

Funding is provided to pay for the operating costs of the Central District Community Preservation and Development Authority which include administration, utilities, and communications. (General Fund - State)

Broadband Equity and Access

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the internet has become the safest and often only option to stay connected to loved ones, work and school, and to meet basic needs while we stay home to slow the spread of the disease. For families and individuals who do not have, or cannot afford, adequate internet access, devices or digital skills training, this transition has exposed major inequities that put the stability, health and futures of many individuals at risk. This funding will expand upon the work of the department's Broadband Office by hiring a digital equity officer and support staff to educate, evaluate and promote digital equity and inclusiveness, create a workgroup to develop a digital inclusion template, and award grants for local and statewide digital inclusion initiatives. (General Fund - State)

Rental Assistance

In the spring of 2020, the governor issued Proclamation 20-19 that placed a moratorium on evictions for non-payment of rent. After this, the state began using federal CARES Act funds to provide rent assistance. In all, the state allocated $120 million of its federal relief funds to help thousands of Washingtonians stay in their homes. When the moratorium on evictions is eventually lifted, renters will still owe several months in unpaid rent, and experts are predicting mass evictions of low-income households if more assistance is not provided. The governor's 2021 supplemental budget proposes spending $164 million for rental assistance between January and June of 2021. This funding will extend this rent assistance program through the 2021-23 biennium, and will gradually wind down until the program plateaus at $12 million annually in June 2022. (General Fund - Federal, General Fund - State)

Equitable Statewide Small Business

Following the Great Recession, many historically disadvantaged small businesses did not recover at the same rate as the general business community, and many never fully recovered before the pandemic struck. This investment outlines pathways to equitable and inclusive statewide recovery from the COVID recession through: 1) funding Black, Indigenous, and People of Color-owned (BIPOC) business and nonprofit technical assistance and education through trusted community organizations; 2) delivering small business technical assistance that expedites recovery and restarts; 3) providing e-commerce support to small businesses ready to sell internationally; and 4) establishing a strong equity, diversity and inclusion focal point to ensure that historically disadvantaged businesses and underserved and underrepresented communities statewide have an equal opportunity to achieve economic recovery and prosperity. (General Fund - Federal, General Fund - State)

Shift HTF Project Administration

Staffing for the department's Housing Trust Fund (HTF) program, including implementation of capital projects, is funded through loan repayments on affordable housing projects. Loan repayment revenues began to noticeably decline in 2016. Based on stakeholder feedback and the response to the COVID-19 pandemic affecting the low-income housing providers, the department issued a temporary policy to defer loan repayments on new projects and suspend loan repayments on existing projects. Deferring and forgoing loan repayments was necessary but puts the program at risk of not having the necessary funding to continue its operations in the near future. In order to sustain program staffing within available revenues, funding for staff that implement Housing Trust Fund program projects is shifted to the capital budget. A reduction in spending authority reflects this shift. (General Fund - State, Washington Housing Trust Fund - State)

Community Technical Assistance

The Department of Commerce aims to implement transformative equity practices that meaningfully advance racial equity in the state’s funding decisions and future investments. By expanding its existing Community Engagement and Outreach Team, the Department will deepen community engagement and facilitate more equitable investment and support of Black, Indigenous, and persons of color (BIPOC) communities. This will involve working directly with community leaders and organizations to support robust strategies reflective of community racial justice priorities, and to provide funding to support community capacity building assistance. Additional resources will enable the Department to hire two staff to engage in outreach and convene focus groups; funding will also provide $250,000 in grants for communities to complete research, data collection and community visioning to identify racial equity priorities. (General Fund - State)

Economic Inclusion Grants

With this funding, the Department of Commerce, with input from the Departments of Social and Health Services and Employment Security, and in consultation with the Poverty Reduction Work Group Steering Committee, will make grants available to local communities to promote equity, economic inclusion, and a stable financial foundation for people experiencing poverty, with a particular focus on people of color and people in rural counties. Two large and one small community will be chosen to receive funding through this pilot grant program. Eligible projects may include those from communities that have collaboratively identified a gap in their poverty reduction efforts, have identified a plan and cost to address the gap, and would benefit from a state investment to create a solution that is customized and sensitive to those most affected by poverty. (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. The tools that have been implemented within the CARES Act to provide relief from the economic conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has 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 - State)

PWRG Steering Committee Per Diem

In 2017, Governor Inslee created, through Directive 17-13, an interagency Poverty Reduction Workgroup to develop a strategic plan to reduce poverty, improve communities and make needed progress related to housing, health, employment and education. This workgroup consists of 10 local and state agencies and is co-led by the departments of Social and Health Services, Commerce, and Employment Security. A steering committee of individuals experiencing poverty provide the valuable voice of lived experience to the workgroup. One-time funding provided resources to an organization that staffed the steering committee and per diem payments and reimbursement for the cost of participating, including travel and childcare. This ongoing funding will continue that investment. (General Fund - State)

Pension Adjustments, nonrate

This funds the potential impact of Department of Retirement Systems request legislation on pension service credit and benefit calculation. It will prevent budget reductions such as temporary layoffs from negatively affecting employee retirement benefits. (General Fund - State, Public Works Assistance Account - State, General Fund - Federal, other funds)

State Employee Benefits

Health insurance funding is provided for state employees who are not represented by a union, who are covered by a bargaining agreement that is not subject to financial feasibility determination, or who are not part of the coalition of unions for health benefits. The insurance funding rate is $988 per employee per month for fiscal year 2022 and $1,018 per employee per month for fiscal year 2023. (General Fund - Private/Local, General Fund - Local, Washington Housing Trust Fund - State, other funds)

WFSE General Government

This adjustment reflects the impact of the 2021-23 collective bargaining agreement. (Liquor Revolving Account - State, Prostitution Prevent/Intervention - State, Lead Paint Account - State, other funds)

Temporary Layoffs and Other Savings

This item reflects savings achieved from temporary layoffs or similar actions. (Lead Paint Account - State, Mobile Home Park Relocation Account - Non-Appropriated, Affordable Housing for All Account - State, other funds)

Rep Employee Health Benefits

This provides health insurance funding for the master agreement for employee benefits as part of a coalition of unions. The insurance funding rate is $988 per employee per month for fiscal year 2022 and $1,018 per employee per month for fiscal year 2023. (Mobile Home Park Relocation Account - Non-Appropriated, Foreclosure Fairness Account - Non-Appropriated, Affordable Housing for All Account - State, other funds)

Non-Rep General Wage Increase

This reflects savings from the cancellation of the July 1, 2020 general wage increase for some non-represented, non-classified employees. (Affordable Housing for All Account - State, Community/Economic Development Fee - State, Public Facility Const Loan Revolv - State, other funds)

Archives/Records Management

Adjustments are made for each agency’s anticipated share of charges for archives and records management services provided by the Secretary of State’s Office. (General Fund - Federal, General Fund - State)

Audit Services

Adjustments are made for each agency’s anticipated cost of audits performed by the State Auditor’s Office. (Washington Housing Trust Fund - State, General Fund - Federal, Public Works Assistance Account - State, other funds)

Legal Services

Adjustments are made for each agency’s anticipated cost of legal services provided by the Attorney General’s Office. Because legal services expenditures are based on consumption, funding provided in the central service model is not all inclusive. (Liquor Excise Tax Account - State, General Fund - Private/Local, General Fund - Local, other funds)

CTS Central Services

Adjustments are made to reflect each agency’s anticipated share of charges for Microsoft 365 G5 licenses contracted for state agencies by the Consolidated Technology Services agency. This contract allows the state to achieve economies of scale and administrative efficiencies in the management of licenses. (Public Works Assistance Account - State, General Fund - State, General Fund - Federal, other funds)

DES Central Services

Adjustments are made to reflect each agency’s anticipated share of charges from the Department of Enterprise Services (DES) for campus rent, utilities, parking, and contracts; capital project surcharges; financing cost recovery; public and historic facilities; real estate services; risk management services; personnel service rates; the Perry Street child care center; small agency services; and the department’s enterprise applications. (General Fund - State, Washington Housing Trust Fund - State, General Fund - Federal, other funds)

OFM Central Services

Adjustments are made to reflect each agency’s anticipated share of charges for existing statewide financial applications, One Washington, and other central services provided by the Office of Financial Management. (General Fund - State, Public Works Assistance Account - State, Washington Housing Trust Fund - State, other funds)