By Diana Carlen
Yesterday marked the 71st day of the legislative session. Policy committees are busy hearing bills passed by the opposite chamber. The next legislative deadline is March 29 in which all bills must pass out of their opposite chamber’s policy committees to remain alive.
Revenue forecast and budget news
Four times a year, the Washington State Economic and Revenue Forecast Council adopts a bipartisan revenue forecast that is then used to build the state operating budget. Washington enacts budgets on a two-year cycle, beginning July 1st of each odd-numbered year.
Last Thursday, state budget writers received positive news that the state is expected to collect an additional $571 million in revenue over the next two years than was originally projected. The projected overall state budget for 2017-19 is expected to be $41.6 billion.
Senate Republicans are set to release their budget proposal early this week, while House Democrats are expected to release their proposal the following week. Despite increased revenues to the state, the legislature still appears divided on whether new revenue is needed to comply with the Washington State Supreme Court’s order to fully fund basic education.