2021-23 operating budget framework
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House Republican 2021-23 Operating Budget Framework
Real Opportunities for All Washingtonians
Funding priorities for working families, growing students, vulnerable populations, small businesses and all Washingtonians, with no cuts to vital services and no new taxes
Additional fiscal information is available on LEAP: http://leap.leg.wa.gov/leap/budget/detail/2021/ho2123Bien.asp
The House Republican budget does not include any new taxes and actually reduces taxes by $445M. It includes roughly $608M in fund transfers and other revenue assumptions.
It appropriates $1.8B from the state’s rainy-day fund to pay for a series of one-time, COVID-related expenses. The rainy-day fund is projected to quickly rebound, reaching $1.1B by the end of FY25.
The budget proposes to grow state spending to $55B (NGF-O) in 2021-23, breaking a cycle of unsustainable spending increases, which averaged 16% over the past three biennia. The plan includes $6.7 billion (NGF-O and BSA) in new or additional policy investments (including homelessness funding booked as a revenue change) against $6.2 billion (NGF-O) in savings, described in more detail below.
This budget leaves a four-year ending fund balance of $768 million (NGF-O), bringing total reserves (NGF-O and BSA) to $1.8B by the end of FY25.
Savings, Efficiencies, and Rational Decision-Making
The House Republican budget includes $6.2 billion (NGF-O) in savings items, many of which were recommended by state agencies as part of their budget evaluation exercise directed by the Governor in 2020. Examples include shifting certain services within DSHS to leverage more federal matching funds and recognizing temporary operational savings due to implementation delays. Importantly, this budget also includes legislative-driven savings focused on improving the effectiveness of state programs.
For too long, spending has equaled progress, leading to redundancies, inefficiencies and wastefulness in state programs. This budget includes legislative-driven savings policies identified as part of a zero-based budget review conducted over the past six months. These savings are used to fund other investments and avoid tax increases.