State Lawmakers, Sen. Hawkins, Look To Next Revenue Forecast
The State of Washington will get another revenue forecast next month, after the last projection in June showed strong growth.
Revenue collections in the current budget cycle which runs through the middle of next year are now expected to increase by $1.46 billion.
Twelfth District Republican State Senator Brad Hawkins thinks there are conditions which could slow down or even reverse growth.
"There's been a lot of inflationary factors," said Hawkins. "Gas prices are way up. The economy, people are as you know, kind of uncertain about things. There are a lot of activities at the federal level with elections coming up."
Current projections would leave the state with a surplus over the current operating budget of $64.1 billion, with the next revenue forecast coming just over three weeks.
Hawkins voted against the current budget, saying it's too big and not sustainable.
He would prefer to have a bigger cash reserve to guard against an economic downturn.
"I'd rather have a larger reserve account and be able to weather the ups and downs of the economic roller coaster if you will, by having those reserves adequate, and I just don't think we do," Hawkins said.
The budget passed the legislature mostly on party lines, with the Democratic majority favoring more generous spending.
The Economic and Revenue Forecast Council comes out with the revenue forecast several times a year. It's composed of a Republican and a Democrat from both the state House and Senate, plus the Director Office of Financial Management, the Director Department of Revenue and the State Treasurer.
General Fund revenues are now projected at nearly $63.2 billion for the current two-year state budget cycle ending June 30, 2023.
The council projects General Fund revenues will total nearly $66 billion for the next biennium, which begins the very next day, July 1, 2023.
State lawmakers will craft the next two-year operating budget in the upcoming legislative session that starts in January.
State revenues are primarily composed of the state sales tax, along with business and occupation taxes and some property taxes.
The state also has a separate budget for transportation as well as a capitol budget, which includes new money for a broad range of construction and repair projects.