Statement from Rep. Norma Smith on preliminary state budget forecast

In light of yesterday’s state revenue forecast,  Rep. Norma Smith issued the following statement:

“Job number one for the Legislature right now is getting our fiscal house in order. First and foremost, we must address this year’s budget shortfall of more than $700 million. We have taken some small steps to date – now it is essential that we as a legislative body get serious about balancing this budget.

“Once we are able to address the current budget shortfall we will have a clearer picture of the true nature of the 2009-11 budget situation, which is currently projected to be a shortfall of more than $8 billion.  We must get back to the priorities of government, which includes our constitutional mandate to fund basic education first, our duty to protect the most vulnerable members of our society, and fulfill our obligation to provide the infrastructure necessary for our state to function and our economy to recover.

“A combination of habitual overspending by leadership at the state level paired with the national economic crisis have created a situation that will require difficult decisions for us over the course of the next weeks and months. For the past several years, leadership has been spending at twice the rate we have been bringing in revenue.  This doesn’t work in your home budget, and it doesn’t work in the state budget.

“I remain committed to prioritizing the way we use our valuable taxpayer dollars, and will not support any new taxes or higher taxes.  Our hard-working families, business owners, communities, farmers and individuals are not the ones who created this problem – and under no circumstances should we ask more from them to fix it.”

Preliminary revenue forecast fast facts:

The Economic and Revenue Forecast Council yesterday released a preliminary and unofficial revenue forecast for the 2007-09 biennium and the 2009-11 biennium.

The combined General Fund-State (GF-S) net change is a decrease of $2.3 billion from the November forecast. Other Near General Fund-State accounts show an additional $84 million revenue decrease. The official forecast will be adopted in March and may differ significantly from this “early guidance” forecast.

2007-09 Biennium

  • The forecast projects a GF-S revenue decrease from what was expected in November of $721.1 million (2.5 percent).
  • GF-S forecast revenues for 2007-09 are now $27.905 billion, an increase of about 0.5 percent from 2005-07.

2009-11 Biennium

  • The GF-S forecast decreases revenues for the 2009-11 biennium by $1.587 billion (5.3 percent).  Total forecast revenues for the next biennium are $28.483 billion, about $578 million more than 2007-09.  This is a 2.1 percent increase over the 2007-09 biennium, or about 1 percent per year.
  • Near General Fund-State revenues, which include other accounts, are now forecast at $31.121 billion, which is about a 2.1 percent increase over 2007-09, or about 1 percent per year.


Washington State House Republican Communications