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    • Headlines

      Williams Report - July 21, 2014

      State Budget Solutions | by Bob Williams | July 21, 2014

      The Williams Report is BACK after a one week hiatus. Be honest, you missed it! Join us on Twitter today by following @StateBudgets and tweeting with the hashtag #SBSBob. 

    • Headlines

      States with budget surpluses may not really be in the black

      State Budget Solutions | by Joe Luppino-Esposito | July 17, 2014

      State Budget Solutions tracks the claimed surpluses of state budgets and explains why there is more than meets the eye.

    • Headlines : Alaska, Delaware, Louisiana, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina , Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington

      Williams Report - June 30, 2014

      June 30, 2014

      Join us on Twitter today by following @StateBudgets and tweeting with the hashtag #SBSBob.

    • Headlines : California, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina , Pennsylvania, Washington, Louisiana, Montana, Virginia

      Williams Report - June 23, 2014

      State Budget Solutions | by Bob Williams | June 23, 2014

      The latest news from State Budget Solutions, including commentary from Bob Williams. Tweet #SBSBob to talk about state budget and pension headlines throughout the nation.

    • Headlines : California, Idaho, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina , Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Washington

      Williams Report - June 19, 2014

      by Bob Williams | June 19, 2014

      Welcome to the NEW Williams Report! Take a look at the top headlines from this week, provided by State Budget Solutions. And don't forget to tweet with Bob's signature-- #SBSBob!

    • Headlines

      States Push Annual Park Passes to Raise Revenue

      Stateline | by Sandy Johnson | May 23, 2014

      As the Memorial Day holiday opens the 2014 summer vacation season, state parks have had to get creative about ways to raise money because budget officers are being chintzier with tax revenue.

    • Headlines

      Revenues in half the states still haven't recovered

      The Washington Post | by Niraj Chokshi | May 20, 2014

      In 26 states, revenues today are lower than they were at their early-recession peak, according to a new Pew analysis.

    • Headlines

      Fitch: State pension plans' funding climbs in 2013 despite low contributions

      Pensions & Investments | by Rob Kozlowski | May 15, 2014

      While the funding ratios of U.S. state defined benefit pension plans improved in fiscal year 2013, significant challenges remain, according to a Fitch Ratings report.

    • Headlines

      At least 7 states are expected to miss their budget forecasts this year

      Washington Post - GovBeat | by Niraj Chokshi | May 9, 2014

      All but seven states are expected to meet or beat budget forecasts by the time this fiscal year is over, according to a survey of state legislative fiscal officers in every state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

    • Headlines

      Richard Ravitch: State fiscal crises aren't over

      Newsday | by Michael Gormley | April 25, 2014

      Former Lt. Gov. Richard Ravitch, who helped New York City escape bankruptcy 40 years ago, warned Wednesday that the fiscal crisis isn't over in New York and other states, despite election year plans to cut taxes and spend more.


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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.

      Evergreen logo

       

      Washington Policy Center Logo

    • 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.

    • Solutions

      The Case for Reform: Adult Probation

      Right on Crime | August 1, 2012
    • Solutions

      Solutions to the public pension crisis

      State Budget Solutions | by Bob Williams | August 1, 2012

      Public pensions at the state and municipal levels are unsustainable in their current form.  State Budget Solutions' recent study by Andrew Biggs found that public pensions are underfunded by $4.6 trilion. Here we offer solutions to the pension crisis

    • Solutions: Rhode Island, Florida, Idaho, Tennessee, Washington

      The Political Economy of Medicaid Reform: Evidence from Five Reforming States

      Mercatus Center | by Scott Beaulier, Brandon Pizzola | April 26, 2012

      To better understand best practices in Medicaid reform, we explore five recent state-level Medicaid reforms and their ability to simultaneously reduce costs, maintain or increase access, and survive the politics of reform.

    • Solutions: Washington

      Top 10 Ideas to Cut Waste, Balance the Budget and Stimulate the Economy Without Raising Taxes

      The Freedom Foundation | by Amber Gunn | November 4, 2011

      Ten ideas to cut waste and balance the buget without raising taxes, including more efficient K-12 funding, spending high education tax dollars more wisely and rein in state employee salaries and benefits.

    • Solutions: Washington

      DeBolt proposes common sense ideas

      The Freedom Foundation | by Scott Roberts | November 4, 2011

      The plan is aimed at reducing regulatory burden, and increasing permit predictability by suggesting the suspension of some growth management requirements, the suspension of agency rulemaking, and shortening permitting decisions.


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    • Williams Report - July 21, 2014

      State Budget Solutions | by Bob Williams | July 21, 2014

      The Williams Report is BACK after a one week hiatus. Be honest, you missed it! Join us on Twitter today by following @StateBudgets and tweeting with the hashtag #SBSBob. 

    • Alaska, Delaware, Louisiana, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina , Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington

      Williams Report - June 30, 2014

      June 30, 2014

      Join us on Twitter today by following @StateBudgets and tweeting with the hashtag #SBSBob.

    • California, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina , Pennsylvania, Washington, Louisiana, Montana, Virginia

      Williams Report - June 23, 2014

      State Budget Solutions | by Bob Williams | June 23, 2014

      The latest news from State Budget Solutions, including commentary from Bob Williams. Tweet #SBSBob to talk about state budget and pension headlines throughout the nation.

    • California, Idaho, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina , Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Washington

      Williams Report - June 19, 2014

      by Bob Williams | June 19, 2014

      Welcome to the NEW Williams Report! Take a look at the top headlines from this week, provided by State Budget Solutions. And don't forget to tweet with Bob's signature-- #SBSBob!

    • Fitch: State pension plans' funding climbs in 2013 despite low contributions

      Pensions & Investments | by Rob Kozlowski | May 15, 2014

      While the funding ratios of U.S. state defined benefit pension plans improved in fiscal year 2013, significant challenges remain, according to a Fitch Ratings report.

    • Richard Ravitch: State fiscal crises aren't over

      Newsday | by Michael Gormley | April 25, 2014

      Former Lt. Gov. Richard Ravitch, who helped New York City escape bankruptcy 40 years ago, warned Wednesday that the fiscal crisis isn't over in New York and other states, despite election year plans to cut taxes and spend more.

    • Pace of pension reform ebbs after 49 states change laws

      Hazel Bradford | by Pensions & Investments | April 15, 2014

      While the sense of urgency has diminished, reform attempts have become a legislative staple, as public retirement systems continue to grapple with unfunded liabilities and political pressure to change.

    • Pew's latest pension report understates unfunded liabilities, but still shows growing pension problem

      by Cory Eucalitto | April 4, 2014

      While Pew's report relies directly on state-reported numbers that understate the size of unfunded liabilities, it nonetheless shows tremendous growth in unfunded liabilities since 2008.

    • U.S. public pension gap widened to nearly $1 trillion in fiscal year 2012

      Reuters | by Robin Respaut | April 2, 2014

      The unfunded liabilities of public-employee pension plans rose by 10 percent in fiscal 2012 to a record $914 billion, hit by low investment returns, missed contributions and unfunded benefits, underscoring the pension funding crisis in U.S. states and cities, a report by the Pew Charitable Trusts said.

    • Some state pensions in dire straits

      USA Today | by Dustin Racioppi | March 21, 2014

      Not making payments to the pension funds, or only paying a portion of what an actuary has recommended, is largely what got these debt-burdened states to where they are today, experts say.


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