Budget Cycle

Governor Submits Budget
December 20

Fiscal Year Begins
July 1
Governor Signs Budget 
20 days after legislative passage

Enacted Supplemental Budget – Fiscal Years 2022-2023

In 2021, Washington enacted a biennial budget for fiscal 2022-2023. On March 31, 2022, Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed the state’s supplemental budget, with partial vetoes. The supplemental operating budget provides for two-year total fund spending of $130.9 billion, and near-general fund spending of $64.1 billion. Enacted supplemental changes include an increase of $9.2 billion in total funds, and an increase of $5.1 billion in near-general funds. The supplemental budget was based on a February 2022 revenue forecast for the biennium of $61.7 billion, including $31.0 billion in fiscal 2023 (a 1.1 percent increase over the fiscal 2022 revenue estimate). Biennial projections were since revised upward in June to $63.2 billion. The supplemental biennial budget is expected to spend down some of the state’s cash balance, and the near general fund balance at the end of fiscal 2023 is projected at $1.8 billion. The projected ending balance in the budget stabilization account, or rainy day fund, is $611 million. Additionally, the Washington Rescue Plan Transition Account, established last year, has a projected ending balance of $2.1 billion (after a $1.1 billion transfer from the state general fund). The supplemental operating budget also appropriates $1.1 billion in Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund (CSFRF) dollars from the American Rescue Plan Act, including $346 million for public school enrollment stabilization funding. Additionally, the supplemental budget invests state funds and CSFRF in transportation and other capital projects; long term care and developmental disability service; natural resources; paid family leave; higher education and financial aid; housing and homelessness programs (including utility assistance); state employee compensation; behavioral health services (including for children and youth); community reinvestment grants; poverty reduction programs; and other priorities. The enacted supplemental budget, when the transportation and capital budgets are included, provides total funding of $155.6 billion for the biennium.

Proposed Supplemental Budget - Fiscal Years 2022-2023

During the 2021 legislative session, Washington State enacted a biennial budget for fiscal 2022 and fiscal 2023. On December 16, 2021, Washington Governor Jay Inslee released a supplemental budget proposal for the current biennium. The revised operating and transportation budget proposals call for $140.0 billion in spending from all funds for the current biennium. The supplemental budget proposes $61.8 billion in near-general fund spending over the biennium, including $57.9 billion in maintenance level base budget spending plus $4.2 billion in proposed policy changes minus $313 million in assumed reversions. The proposal is based on a November 2021 revenue forecast of $60.2 billion for the biennium, 13.4 percent above the prior biennium. Broken down by fiscal year, the state is projected to collect $29.9 billion in fiscal 2022 (6.0 percent annual increase) and $30.3 billion in fiscal 2023 (1.3 percent increase). At the end of the biennium, the state is projected to have a $1.2 billion rainy day fund balance in the Budget Stabilization Account. The proposal also projects a $1.3 billion near-general fund ending balance, for a total balance of $2.5 billion.  The governor’s budget also recommends how to spend the state’s remaining $1.54 billion in Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Funds (SFRF) under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

Proposed Budget Highlights 
The governor’s supplemental budget for fiscal 2022 and fiscal 2023 calls for significant new funding aimed at increasing housing and addressing homelessness, reducing poverty, supporting K-12 education, investing in clean transportation and other climate change initiatives, and protecting salmon habitats, in addition to building up state reserves.

Housing and Homelessness

  • $815 million package of investments, including $320 million in operating spending and $495 million in capital spending, with two-thirds covered by ARPA funds, including:
    • $100 million for utility assistance, $100 million for affordable housing and $60 million for crisis stabilization facilities (all ARPA SFRF)
    • $335 million for rapid capital housing development, including $285 million in SFRF and $50 million in bonds
    • $49 million to expand supportive behavioral health services
    • $51 million to support transition from encampment sites to permanent housing
    • $100 million to continue a grant program to expand shelter capacity

Poverty Reduction

  • $248 million in new state and federal funding to address poverty, with a focus on building a robust continuum of care for all ages, including:
    • $5 million in state general funds and $11 million in federal funds to build a one-stop-shop eligibility system
    • $9 million to increase access to early learning programs
    • $92 million in ARPA funds for food assistance programs
    • $38 million for cash assistance program for low-income disabled population
    • $26 million in state general funds and $33 million in federal funds to increase income retained by those receiving Aging and Long-Term Care services

K-12 Education

  • $1 billion to bolster the state’s K-12 educational system with investments in student academic and social emotional supports, educational equity, food security, and learning environments, including:
    • $184 million to increase staffing levels for school nurses, counselors, social workers and psychologists
    • $746 million for school districts to expand accelerated learning opportunities and offer more student supports
    • $15 million for two programs aimed at recruiting and retaining teachers
    • $13 million to fully fund the special education safety net
    • $52 million to continually expand outdoor education

Climate Strategy and Clean Transportation

  • $626 million to fund climate change initiatives, including:
    • $27 million in bonds to weatherize homes and for energy efficiency projects at state facilities
    • $50 million grant program to help certain industries plan and implement decarbonization strategies
    • $100 million in annual ongoing funding for customer rebates for buying zero-emission vehicles
    • $91 million for state ferry electrification ($324 million over three years)
    • $33 million to help transit agencies shift to clean alternative fuel buses
    • $23 million for electric vehicle charging infrastructure and outreach
    • $45 million to support safe school, bicycle and pedestrian routes
    • $30 million for special needs transit grants
    • $100 million for solar installation and energy storage grant program

Salmon Recovery

  • $187 million in investments and policy changes to protect and restore salmon populations, including:
    • $100 million for a new riparian habitat conservation grant program
    • $27 million for salmon harvest monitoring and enforcement

Other Highlights

  • Foster Youth: $82 million to expand services and resources for foster youth
  • Ferries: $40 million to attract and retain ferry system employees
  • Transportation: A total of nearly $1 billion in transportation budget funding, including $500 million in ARPA funds
  • COVID-19 Response: $173 million in state general funds and $25 million in ARPA funds to contain COVID-19, as well as $100 million to expand vaccine access
  • Employee compensation: 3.25% general wage increase and other changes, totaling $386 million
  • Reserves: $600 million additional deposit into the rainy day fund, in addition to $574 million required under current two-year budget