The Supplemental Budget approved by the Legislature and sent to Governor Inslee for approval increases general fund spending in the current biennium to $64 billion, an increase of $5 billion over the budget approved in April 2021. The final budget increases state spending by an astounding 24% over the previous biennium and by more than 50% since 2017.
The spending growth is fueled by stronger than expected tax collections. The Legislature dedicates more than 80% of these unexpected revenues towards new spending programs instead of dedicating these revenues to bolster state reserves. The final budget only maintains $821 million, or 2.8% of the budget, in reserves.