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    • Budget timeframe: Biennial

      Fiscal Year begins: July 1 

      The current state budget can be found here, and the supplemental budget can be found here.

      Find the legislative session calendar here.

      Find the current legislative leaders here.

       

      WA Gov. GregoireGov. Chris Gregoire
      Office of Governor Chris Gregoire
      P.O. Box 40002
      Olympia, WA 98504-0002
      Phone: (360) 902-4111
      Fax: (360) 753-4110
      http://www.governor.wa.gov/

       

       

       

      David Schumacher, Director
      Office of Financial Management
      P.O. Box 43113
      Olympia, WA 98504-3113
      Phone (360) 902-0555
      http://www.ofm.wa.gov/
      ofm.budget@ofm.wa.gov

       

      Want a more robust, long-term look at your state's fiscal health, beyond the budget? There are two parts: Click here for the FY2012 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) compiled by the state government, and click here for information on the state's pension liabilities

       

      Washington is required to pass a "balanced budget." Section 43.88.033 of the State law mandates the budget shall not propose expenditures in excess of the statutory limit. Section 43.88.050 requires the governor to ensure anticipated revenues match estimated expenditures. Section 43.88.110(5) requires the governor to make an "across-the-board" reduction in allotments to funds to prevent any cash deficits due to projected cash deficits. Section 43.135.025 limits state expenditures to the previous year's appropriations limit plus the fiscal growth factor, which is the average growth in state personal income for the preceding ten years. In spite of these provisions, the State's Budgetary Comparison Schedules reported budget deficits (negative net transactions) for each of the three years examined. Washington law forbids the carrying over of a deficit from one year to the next.

       

      Washington is engaged in a practice called budgeting for fiscal discipline. Instead of the varying assumptions inherent in other states' budgets, Washington estimates revenue to grow at a fixed rate, and caps spending accordingly. While this system has varying degrees of success, keeping any shortfalls in revenue from getting out of hand, Washington also requires the budget document to conform to generally accepted accounting principles, as applicable to states.

      The State's major governmental funds are the General Fund, Higher Education Special Revenue Fund and the Higher Education Endowment Permanent Fund. Of the three major governmental funds, only the General Fund is budgeted. Some non-major funds are budgeted. But judging from the differences between actual and budgeted figures, it is likely that few of the total governmental funds are budgeted. Budgetary information within the Budgetary Comparison Schedules are not efficiently ordered and do not include the necessary "total" columns.  [from the Institute for Truth in Accounting]

       

      Find the state's bond ratings here.

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    • Solutions

      How Reality-Based Budgeting Can Permanently Resolve State Budget Gaps

      State Budget Solutions | by Bob Williams | November 7, 2012

      State Budget Solutions recommends that state legislators take action in 2013 to resolve the serious state financial crises by changing their focus from inputs to outcomes by redesigning budgets from the ground up based on priorities and performance.

    • Solutions

      How to Prevent Future Pension Crises

      by Cory Eucalitto | November 1, 2012

      The time for state and local governments to offer defined contribution retirement plans that protect both taxpayer dollars and public employee retirement security is now.

    • Solutions

      State Lawmakerís Guide to Evaluating Medicaid Expansion Projections

      The Heritage Foundation | by Edmund F. Haislmaier and Drew Gonshorowski | October 17, 2012

      Supporters of Obamacare claim that expanding Medicaid will entail little to no cost to state governments, since the federal government will fund the vast majority of the additional costs. Indeed, some analyses project states achieving savings from adopting the expansion. However, state lawmakers should be wary of accepting such analyses at face value.

    • Solutions

      Medicaid Is BrokenóLet the States Fix It

      The Wall Street Journal | by Paul Howard and Russell Sykes | October 15, 2012

      Block-granting Medicaid is the best way to deliver better, cost-effective care to the most vulnerable Americans.

    • Solutions

      The Case for Reform: Prisons

      Right on Crime | August 1, 2012

      Prisons are supremely important, but they are also a supremely expensive government program, and thus prison systems must be held to the highest standards of accountability.