Washington state revenue forecast up $1.46 billion

Revenue projections for Washington state increased by about $1.46 billion more than expected through the current two-year budget period.

Updated numbers released Wednesday by the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council show that projected revenue collections for the 2021-2023 budget exceed what had been forecast in February. And projections for the next two-year budget cycle that ends in mid-2025 increased by about $632 million.

Revenues for the current budget cycle that ends mid-2023 are now projected to be nearly $63.2 billion. And projected revenues for the next two-year budget cycle that starts July 1, 2023 are projected to be almost $66 billion.

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The current two-year state budget approved earlier this year by majority Democrats in the Legislature increased spending in a variety of areas, including efforts on reducing homelessness, adding more social supports like nurses and counselors for students, and behavioral health.

But following another favorable revenue forecast Republican leaders again pushed for tax relief as prices rise due to inflation.

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"It’s ridiculous for the Legislature to be sitting on a growing mountain of cash while families across our state are struggling to afford the basics and watching their buying power shrink because of inflation," Senate Republican Leader John Braun said in a statement.