Washington faces budget shift as estimated reserves decline

May 2, 2024
Written by WR Communications

Washington faces a budget shift as estimated reserves decline, impacting the 2024 supplemental operating budget. The Economic and Revenue Forecast Council (ERFC) approved a revised outlook, revealing a significant reduction in the unrestricted ending balance for both the current and following biennium. Originally estimated at $510 million, the balance now stands at $100 million due to adjustments in assumptions about reversions—appropriations not ultimately spent.

Historically set at 0.5% of general fund–state (GFS) appropriations, reversions saw an uptick in recent years, prompting the ERFC to revise projections. The new assumptions reduce reversions by $378 million in 2023–25. Additionally, changes in NGFO appropriations further affect the outlook, with an increase of $30 million and a decrease of $11.5 million in the second biennium.

Governor’s vetoes modestly impact appropriations, reducing them by $2 million in 2023–25. Overall, the official outlook reflects a $382 million decrease in 2023–25 and a $410 million decrease in 2025–27 from previous estimates, highlighting the need for cautious fiscal planning.


Return to newsletter