A new Washington Research Council report frames the budget negotiations that will lead to an adopted state budget for 2019-2021. As the WRC summarizes,
The House and Senate have each passed 2019–21 operating budgets. The House- passed budget would appropriate $52.934 billion from funds subject to the outlook and another $389.6 million from a new workforce education investment account (WEIA). The Senate-passed budget would appropriate $52.181 billion from funds subject to the outlook ($1.143 billion less than the House, including the WEIA spending). Most of the difference between the two comes from new policy choices.
This brief provides side-by-side detail. An extended narrative discussion will follow. Click through to see the policy differences in the spending plan. We want to call out this excerpt from the Council’s comparison of the revenue proposals.
Of particular note: While the two chambers have voted on their respective spending plans, the tax bills are, as shown above, “not passed.” The higher spending level adopted by the House depends heavily on new taxes.
The next couple of weeks will be telling. We again restate our concern about the sustainability of significant spending increases, particularly when those expanded policy commitments rely on new and volatile revenue streams, like the capital gains tax.