Budget Cycle

Governor Submits Budget
December 20

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

Proposed Budget - Fiscal Years 2024-2025

On December 14, Washington Governor Jay Inslee proposed operating, capital and transportation budgets covering fiscal years 2024 and 2025. The operating and transportation budgets call for total fund spending of $142.0 billion. The operating budget calls for near-general fund (General Fund-State, Education Legacy Trust Account, Opportunity Pathways Account and Workforce Education Investment Account) spending of $70.0 billion (after reversions), including $4.85 billion in recommended policy changes. This represents an 11.8 percent increase in near-general fund expenditures over the current biennium’s level recommended in the governor’s proposed supplemental budget ($62.6 billion). The budget is based on a revenue forecast of $66.2 billion for the next biennium, including $32.4 billion in fiscal 2024 – a 0.2 percent annual decline from the fiscal 2023 estimate. The governor expects to start the new biennium with a $3.9 billion general fund balance and calls for net transfers in of $1.9 billion (including depositing the remaining Washington Rescue Plan Transition Account balance of $2.1 billion into the general fund). With a projected ending balance of $1.3 billion and a projected balance in the Budget Stabilization Account (the state’s rainy day fund) of another $1.3 billion (after a deposit of $630 million into the account next biennium), the governor’s budget estimates total reserves of $2.6 billion at the end of fiscal 2025.

Proposed Budget Highlights 

The governor’s budget proposal for fiscal 2024 and fiscal 2025 prioritizes investments in housing and homelessness – including efforts to dramatically increase the supply of affordable housing – and transforming the state’s behavioral health system. The governor also provides updated plans to invest in climate, salmon recovery, education, and the state workforce. Some of the investments proposed by the governor in these areas are described below. Additionally, the governor’s budget highlights policy priorities including expanding law enforcement training capacity and strengthening access to reproductive services. The governor’s proposal also calls for spending $202 million in remaining federal COVID-19 relief funds on emergency housing, food programs, public health and special education.

Housing & Homelessness

  • A statewide voter referendum to raise $4 billion in bonds outside the state’s debt limit that would be invested in rapid affordable housing construction and other housing and homelessness initiatives over the next six years
  • State capital and operating funds of $1.3 billion in the next biennium (including $771 in referendum funding) to: increase Housing Trust Fund investment in affordable housing ($698 million); accelerate creation of affordable housing ($270 million); fund emergency housing and shelter funding ($153 million); resolve encampments on state rights of way ($68 million); offset lost revenue from document recording fees (due to fewer mortgage originations and refinances) ($40 million); and fund other homelessness and housing initiatives

Behavioral Health

  • $28 million for behavioral health access for children and youth
  • $190 million in state general funds and $100 million in federal funds to increase bed capacity
  • $107 million in state general funds and $102 million in federal funds to increase the behavioral health workforce and provider rates
  • $74 million in Statewide 988 Behavioral Health and Suicide Prevention Line Account funds and $27 million in federal funds to expand the state’s crisis response system

Early Childhood Education

  • $149 million in general fund and $42 million in federal Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund II dollars for provider rate increases and additional slots

K-12 Education

  • $350 million additional investment in teacher compensation (on top of statutorily required $600 million inflation increase)
  • $314 million to increase school nurses, social workers, counselors, and psychologists
  • $120 million for special education services and supports


  • $1.9 billion total strategic agenda funding for advancing environmental justice, decarbonizing buildings, clean energy permitting and transmission, clean energy development, clean transportation, clean energy workforce investments, and climate resilience programs

Salmon Recovery

  • $872 million total strategic agenda funding for protecting and restoring salmon habitats, investing in clean water and infrastructure, restoring salmon access to fish passages, protecting and managing the state’s waters, harvest management and hatchery investments, and pinniped management

Employee Compensation

  • $1.3 billion in near general fund cost for compensation increases for employees and nonstate employees (e.g., home and child care provider rate increases)
  • Under new agreements most employees would receive general wage increases of 4 percent in fiscal 2024 and 3 percent in fiscal 2025, with additional targeted increases to address recruitment and retention challenges in some areas