Skip to main contentSkip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.
Edit
AP top story editor's pick

Projections lowered in latest Washington revenue forecast

  • 0
State Capitol

The state Capitol building is seen through a screen of still-bare branches in Olympia.

OLYMPIA — Revenue projections for Washington state’s current two-year budget period increased by about $43 million more than projected at the state’s last quarterly update, but a series of factors — including slowing home sales due to high interest rates — led officials to lower the forecast for the next budget cycle.

Updated numbers released Wednesday by the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council show that projected revenue collections for the 2021-2023 budget slightly exceed what had been forecast in June. But the council lowered the forecast for the next two-year budget cycle that ends in mid-2025 by $495 million.

Revenue for the current budget cycle that ends mid-2023 remains at $63.2 billion. For the next two-year budget cycle that starts July 1, 2023, revenue is projected to be about $65.5 billion, down just slightly from the almost $66 billion projected in the June forecast.

Sen. Christine Rolfes, a Democrat on the council who is the chief budget writer in the Senate, said that lawmakers will approach their work on the next two-year budget next year with caution, and would focus on ensuring it is sustainable.

“I think the forecast we have today kind of mirrors how the public is feeling the economy and we’ll create a budget that matches that,” she said.

But her Republican colleague on the council said that revenue is still above projections from when lawmakers passed a supplemental budget earlier this year.

“I still think there is an opportunity for tax relief, specifically property tax relief,” he said.

The latest numbers were released the same day that a state employee union announced a tentative agreement with the state that includes pay raises and a $1,000 incentive payment for getting a COVID-19 booster shot.

Under the tentative agreement announced by the Washington Federation of State Employees, employees will receive a 4% raise on July 1, 2023, followed by a 3% raise on July 1, 2024. There is also a $1,000 retention bonus for state employees who were employed on July 1, 2022, and who are still employed with the state on July 1, 2023. There are also more than 190 class-specific wage increases, the union said.

The union said the tentative agreement covers about 35,000 state employees A vote by union members on the agreement is expected this week.

The next revenue forecast is scheduled for Nov. 18. Gov. Jay Inslee will release his two-year budget the following month, ahead of the January start of the 105-day legislative session.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

0 Comments
0
0
0
0
0

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

Sen. Joe Manchin has abandoned his push to speed up the permitting process for energy projects. His decision eases the Senate’s path toward passing a stopgap spending bill that would keep the federal government running when the fiscal year ends at midnight Friday and provide more aid to Ukraine.  A procedural vote advancing the effort cleared easily, 72-23, after Democrats announced that Manchin’s proposal would be stripped from the final legislation. While lawmakers are waiting once again until the final moments of the fiscal year to keep the government running, they are confident they will do so.

An Oregon journalist is suing the city of Medford and Jackson County over her arrest in 2020, saying her rights were violated. Oregon Public Broadcasting reports April Ehrlich filed a legal complaint earlier this month seeking a jury trial and damages. On Sept. 22, 2020, Ehrlich was working with Jefferson Public Radio when she was arrested while trying to cover a Medford Police sweep of a homeless camp in Hawthorne Park. In a statement, the city of Medford said that the park closure was lawful and that journalists have no special or unique right of access to property closed to the general public.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell says he will “proudly support” legislation to overhaul rules for certifying presidential elections, bolstering a bipartisan effort to revise a 19th century law and avoid another Jan. 6 insurrection.  The legislation would clarify and add to parts of the 1887 Electoral Count Act, which, along with the Constitution, governs how states and Congress certify electors and declare presidential winners. The changes in the certification process are in response to unsuccessful efforts by former President Donald Trump and his allies to exploit loopholes in the law to overturn his 2020 defeat.  McConnell spoke just before the Senate Rules Committee voted 14-1 to approve the bill and send it to the Senate floor.

The Danish Energy Agency says one of two ruptured natural gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea appears to have stopped leaking natural gas. The agency said Saturday on Twitter it had been informed by the company operating the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that pressure appears to have stabilized in the pipeline, which runs from Russia to Germany. It said "this indicates that the leaking of gas in this pipeline has ceased.” The undersea blasts that damaged the Nord Stream I and 2 pipelines this week have led to huge methane leaks. Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday accused the West of sabotaging the Russia-built pipelines, a charge vehemently denied by the United States and its allies.

Jury selection is underway in one of the most serious cases to emerge from the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. The founder of the far-right Oath Keepers extremist group and four associates are charged with seditious conspiracy. Stewart Rhodes and the others are the first Jan. 6 defendants charged with the the rare Civil War-era offense to stand trial. The judge began winnowing the pool of potential jurors after denying another bid from defense attorneys to have the case moved out of Washington. Lawyers for the Oath Keepers say they can't get a fair trial in the capital city.

Russia is planning to annex more of Ukraine on Friday. The move represents an escalation of the seven-month war that is expected to isolate the Kremlin further, draw more international punishment and bring extra support to Ukraine. An annexation ceremony is planned in the Kremlin. The annexation would come just days after voters supposedly approved Moscow-managed “referendums” that Ukrainian and Western officials have denounced as illegal, forced and rigged. In an apparent response, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called an emergency meeting Friday of his National Security and Defense Council.

The Supreme Court says it won’t take up two cases that involved challenges to a ban enacted during the Trump administration on bump stocks. Those are the gun attachments that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire rapidly like machine guns.The justices’ decision not to hear the cases comes on the heels of a decision in June in which the justices by a 6-3 vote expanded gun rights, weakening states’ ability to limit the carrying of guns in public.The cases the justices declined to hear were an appeal from a Utah gun rights advocate and another brought by the gun rights group Gun Owners of America and others. As is typical the justices made no comments in declining to hear the cases and they were among many the court rejected Monday, the first day of the court’s new term.

The FBI search of Donald Trump’s Florida estate has spawned a parallel “special master” process that has slowed the Justice Department's criminal investigation and exposed simmering tensions between department prosecutors and lawyers for the former president. The probe into the presence of top secret information at Mar-a-Lago continues. But barbed rhetoric in the past week's court filings has laid bare deep disagreements related to the special master’s work and made clear that a process the Trump team initially sought has not been playing to the president’s advantage. The special master, Raymond Dearie, is a former federal prosecutor and served as a U.S. District judge in Brooklyn.

European companies are ramping up security around pipelines and energy prices are climbing again as the suspected sabotage of two pipelines that deliver natural gas from Russia underscored the vulnerability of Europe’s energy infrastructure and prompted the EU to warn of possible retaliation. Some European officials and energy experts have said Russia is likely to blame for any sabotage, while others cautioned against pointing fingers until investigators are able to determine what happened. Russia benefits from higher energy prices and economic anxiety across Europe. Moscow has sharply curtailed natural gas shipments to Europe in retaliation for sanctions the West put in place after its invasion of Ukraine.

A Danish official says the Nord Stream gas leaks in the Baltic Sea could emit the equivalent of one third of Denmark’s total annual greenhouse gas emissions. That would also be five times the amount of the potent greenhouse gas as was emitted during the Aliso Canyon well disaster in California in 2015-2016. A chemical engineer estimated the amount will turn out to be less, but still double what escaped at Aliso Canyon. Methane is a very potent greenhouse gas, able to warm the atmosphere 82.5 times more than carbon dioxide.

Listen now and subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | RSS Feed | Omny Studio

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

News Alert

Breaking News