Washington state’s Economic and Revenue Forecast Council today released its second quarter revenue forecast, which was moved ahead from June, showing an increase of $327 million in revenue for the 2015-17 biennium. Since session began in January the state has seen $1.1 billion of additional revenue and resources added to the state budget outlook.
Sen. Andy Hill, chair of the Senate Ways and Means committee, made this statement:
“Existing state tax revenues are more than enough to fully fund education and make major investments in mental health, higher education and the social safety net, demonstrated in the budget passed by the Senate. Passing risky or harmful new taxes right now is simply not necessary.
Remaining negotiations are not about fully funding education or restoring cuts to programs. They are about increasing spending beyond the investments we’ve already provided.
The House demanded more than $1 billion of new spending beyond the Senate’s budget, dependent on the passage of major tax increases. Due to a recovering economy we are now two-thirds of the way to the inflated House spending plan just through natural revenue growth and additional resources.
We have what we need to pass a good budget and complete our work in Olympia. This forecast makes that job easier. ”