November 24, 2014
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State budget outlook: Revenues increase but I-1351 adds billions to predicted shortfall



State lawmakers are surveying the rocky territory ahead as they gear up for a difficult legislative session. Initiative 1351, which barely passed despite having no formal opposition, is expected to cost $5 billion through 2019 and another nearly $2 billion per year after that, according to the governor’s office. Even some of the most liberal members of the Legislature have talked of voting to suspend the initiative, but that will require a 2/3 vote in both chambers, which will likely be difficult.

Top lawmakers from both parties delivered this news in person last week to AWB’s Government Affairs Council. Rep. Ross Hunter, D-Medina, discussed the state’s budget outlook. Rep. Reuven Carlyle, D-Seattle, outlined his ideas for possible tax increases. Sen Karen Fraser, D-Olympia, joined Reps. Larry Springer, D-Kirkland, and Paul Harris, R-Vancouver, to talk about how to address education funding issues.

Also last week, the state’s Economic and Revenue Forecast Council held its quarterly meeting and announced that state revenue collections are expected to increase by about $388 million through 2017, in addition to a $2 billion increase already projected for the 2015-17 budget. The Washington Research Council runs down the numbers here.

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FROM AWB's BLOG

Actually, AWB supports tax incentive review


A recent commentary on policies addressing business tax incentives took out of context comments made by one of our local representatives on tax and fiscal policy, Ron Bueing.

AWB has been clear over the years; we firmly believe tax incentives should be fully and thoughtfully reviewed on a set timeline to ensure they are serving the purposes for which they were approved by the Legislature and signed into law by the governor.

And, it should also be noted there is bipartisan agreement in the Legislature that supports our position.


READ MORE: Click here for the full blog post at Olympia Business Watch
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