Washington Research Council releases analysis of House and Senate budgets

The Washington Research Council has released its analysis comparing the budgets passed by the House (Monday) and the Senate (Friday). 

The WRC writes,

The 2018 supplemental operating budgets passed by the Senate and House are broadly similar. Both would fully fund the increase in school staff salaries required by the McCleary decision a year earlier than planned (though the original House proposal would not have done so). Both would reduce property taxes. Both would use funds from the rainy day account.

Operating near general fund–state plus opportunity pathways (NGFS+) spending already enacted for 2017–19 totals $43.708 billion. The Senate-passed budget would increase NGFS+ appropri- ations by $1.117 billion, and the House- passed budget would increase them by $380.4 million. Much of the difference is due to an apportionment change that would save $609.1 million in the House budget. Also, the Senate would appropriate $103.8 million for its new McCleary penalty account, while the House would transfer funds to its penalty account.

There’s been little coverage of the two budgets so far. The WRC report does a nice job of reviewing the differences that need to be ironed out before lawmakers leave Olympia. We commend it to your attention.

The regular session ends March 8, one week from tomorrow.