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Spin Control

Posts tagged: David Schumacher

Inslee budget to propose $1 billion in tax hikes

OLYMPIA — Gov. Jay Inslee's budget proposal for the next two years will include a request for $1 billion or more in higher taxes along with some program cuts, a delay of some new school spending approved by voters and raises for state employees.

Inslee will unveil the details of his budget plans for the second half of his term over four days next week. But in a discussion Tuesday with reporters, State Budget Director David Schumacher said without some new taxes the cuts to state programs would be “horrible.”

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Economic forecast: An extra $395 million coming in?

OLYMPIA – Washington's projected tax revenues look slightly better than they did four months ago, but aren't expected to add enough money to cover all of the state's expected expenses next year.

State Economist Steve Lerch delivered a forecast with both good and bad news:

— More people have jobs, nationally and statewide, but full-time jobs are decreasing while part-time jobs are increasing.
— Consumer confidence is up, but not back to pre-recession levels.
— Manufacturing levels are expanding in Washington faster than the rest of the country but oil prices are up a bit and could go much higher with increased turmoil in the Middle East.

In terms of dollars, “the good news is pretty small,” Lerch said.

When the pluses and minuses were plugged into economic models, he said the state's general fund – the pot of money that covers the most programs and salaries not connected with transportation or construction – should be about $157 million higher than previously forecast by the end of next June. It could be about $238 million higher the 2015-17 budget cycle that Lerch and his office forecast in February.

Considering the state's projected budget is about $16.5 billion for the next 12 months and about $36 billion for the two-years after that, those are relatively small bumps.

Meanwhile, the state could be looking at more students in public schools, a court order to spend an extra $4.5 billion over the next five years on education, more inmates in prisons, higher pension costs and the possibility of the first cost-of-living adjustment for state employees in years.

David Schumacher, director of the Office of Management and Budget, said Gov. Jay Inslee has ordered state agencies to submit plans for budget reductions of up to 15 percent. Inslee isn’t expecting to cut 15 percent across the board, but looking at options as a way to determine “where the pain will be the least,” Schumacher said.

Sunday Spin: Getting a closer look at IT spending

OLYMPIA – Tucked inside the 291-page budget Gov. Jay Inslee signed last week is a paragraph that tells state agencies to ask for money for new-fangled tech gear a better way.

It’s what’s known as a proviso, sort of a marching order from the Legislature, somewhat akin to an earmark from Congress. . . 

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OFM:Senate budget might not pencil out

OLYMPIA — The state budget office is questioning some parts of the 2013-15 operating budget proposal released earlier this week by the leaders of the Senate Ways and Means Committee.

The budget uses some assumptions that may not be legal, and others that don't have enough information to say whether they are realistic, David Schumacher, director of the Office of Financial Management, said in a letter to Committee Chairman Andy Hill, R-Redmond, and Sen. Jim Hargrove of Hoquiam, the ranking Democrat. 

“There are significant concerns with the structure of this budget, such as reductions to local government programs and our state's safety net,” Schumacher says at the top of a four-page list of questions about proposed decisions on education, health and  human services, natural resources, general government and “non-specific savings.”

The committee passed the budget on Thursday and moved it to the Senate, where it could come up for a debate this afternoon.

Inslee names budget chief

OLYMPIA — Governor-elect Jay Inslee selected the leader of the state Senate's Budget Committee staff as his new budget director.

Inslee told his transition team today that he would appoint David Schumacher as the director of the Office of Financial Management, making him the incoming governor's chief budget adviser.

Schumacher spent the last two years, and from 2003-2008 as the head of the nonpartisan staff for the Senate Ways and Means Committee, that chamber's panel in charge of budgets. He spent the two years away from the committee as director of northwest government affairs for Boeing.

Inslee called him a creative thinker with “unparalleled” experience in fiscal matters.

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Nick Deshais covers Spokane City Hall for The Spokesman-Review.

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