The Washington State Economic and Revenue Forecast Council released its quarterly state revenue forecast today. According to Chief Economist and Executive Director Steve Lerch, the General Fund-State (GF-S) revenue forecast has been increased by $81 million for the 2015-17 budget cycle and by $87 million for the 2017-19 budget cycle. It also shows a $34 million increase for 2019-2021. The latest report reflects changes since the last revenue forecast on March 16.
Rep. Terry Nealey, R-Dayton, serves as the House Republican representative on the council, is the ranking member of the House Finance Committee, and a member of the House Appropriations Committee. He issued the following statement on today’s state revenue forecast:
These are smaller increases than we saw in the March forecast, but they are still in positive territory, which will be helpful to the budgeting process. This should provide the information lawmakers need to book those numbers into a new state operating budget proposal. Hopefully, it expedites the negotiation process so that a two-year operating budget can be passed before the end of the fiscal cycle June 30.
Again, I would caution while Washington is seeing its unemployment decrease, any significant tax increases could reverse this trend, which would impact future revenue for our state. We should be mindful of this as we work for a sustainable budget agreement.
The council voted unanimously to accept the new revenue forecast.
The regular session of the 2017 Legislature ended April 23 and lawmakers are near the end of the second 30-day special session, which concludes tomorrow, June 21. The next revenue forecast is scheduled for Sept. 20.
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