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The state's budget faces a $4.5 billion hole over the next year as the economy contracts and tax revenues fall from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Legislature should meet in special session this month to begin cutting the state budget to adjust for the loss of revenue brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Senate’s top Republican said Wednesday.
Washington agencies will look for some $1.9 billion in budget cuts to accompany a freeze on hiring and equipment purchases ordered Wednesday by Gov. Jay Inslee.
The economic shutdown from the COVID-19 pandemic could blow a $7 billion hole in the state’s budget over the next three years, forcing a special session sometime in 2020.
With the threat of a growing novel coronavirus outbreak hanging over Washington, the Legislature ended its 2020 session by pulling $175 million from its reserve account for state and local agencies to fight the disease and another $25 million for businesses hurt by the economic fallout.
Washington may see a slowing economy in the next few years, but a recession does not appear to be on the horizon, the state’s economist told legislative leaders Wednesday.
Legislature pushes toward its deadline with closed budget negotiations, hasty tax hearings and late-night votes because “that’s the way we always do it.”
The state of Washington expects to collect $50 billion in taxes and fees for its general operations in the next two years. The Legislature will debate how to spend it – and whether it’s enough.
Top officials with the Idaho Department of Correction are considering telling state lawmakers they need a nearly 20 percent budget increase to fund beds, staff and services for the state’s growing prison population.
Strong economic forecast points to nearly $600 million more in state tax revenue over next three years.
In 2000, Colorado taxpayers footed 68 percent of the costs of a college degree, with students chipping in about one-third.
Eight days after a stunned Idaho Secretary of State Lawerence Denney said lawmakers had “gutted” his budget, the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee did a re-do, and relented on providing $1.2 million in one-time funds next year for an elections system technological upgrade.
The Idaho Legislature’s joint budget committee bogged down in a big way on Wednesday over the state Liquor Division budget, as Sen. Fred Martin, R-Boise, led an ultimately unsuccessful move to try to reject funding for two new state liquor stores in the Treasure Valley – one of them in his own district.
Idaho lawmakers set a budget for the state’s community colleges on Tuesday that exceeds Gov. Butch Otter’s proposal, which would have resulted in a cut to North Idaho College’s budget and stopped the expansion of the Coeur d’Alene institution’s popular new computer science program.
The Idaho Transportation Department wants to spend $2 million next year to replace one of the airplanes in the state’s three-plane fleet, a 45-year-old Cessna 182.
North Idaho College requested an increase in state funding next year of more than $1 million, but Gov. Butch Otter instead is recommending a small cut in NIC’s budget.
Idaho lawmakers are bracing for a big expense – a $102 million, five-year plan to modernize the state’s accounting, payroll and procurement systems, which now operate on a three-decades-old mainframe computer system.
Faced with a $27.5 million hole in their transportation budget after a drafting error, Idaho legislative budget writers on Thursday filled the gap with two unanimous votes, even adding interest.
Library use is growing in Idaho and nationally, especially among millennials.