Friends and Neighbors,
As we continue to develop our budgets for the 2017-2019 budget cycle, we received some good news last week – Washington state will have more revenue to add to its General Fund. As you may have heard, our revenues have increased $600 million since our last forecast in Nov. 2016. Compared to the estimates from Feb. 2016, when we wrote our last budget, revenues have increased by about $1.1 billion in the 2015-17 budget cycle and $700 million for the 2017-2019 budget cycle. This extra revenue is one more reason why we don't need to raise taxes to fund programs in Washington.
According to the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council (ERFC), which releases its revenue forecast report quarterly, this additional revenue is a result of increased sales; job growth; and strong residential construction activity in some areas of the state.
Not all of the $1.8 billion of increased revenue will go directly to the General Fund, however. About $758 million of the 2015-17 budget cycle is projected to be deposited into the state's rainy day fund, unless the legislature takes action to redirect it.
We have proof right in front of us that when we don't raise taxes, or craft policies that make it more difficult to live and work here, revenue will increase.
I remain committed to protecting working families and small businesses in Washington state.
Rather than raise or implement new taxes, I will continue to encourage additional economic growth by promoting legislation that spurs economic activity, lifts burdens on small business and working families, and generally makes it easier to live in our state, especially in our area.
Telephone Town Hall Meeting
Next Tuesday, March 28, at 6:00 p.m. I'll be joining other legislators from the area in a telephone town hall meeting. Organized like a radio show, we'll be calling residents at their homes to have a community conversation. If you would like to participate, please answer the call at 6:00 p.m. or call (360)209-6593.
I encourage citizens of the 20th District to join the call. I'll be discussing the work I've done in Olympia and giving updates on the issues facing our communities. You'll also have the opportunity to ask me questions.
If you would like to submit questions prior to the meeting, you may do so by calling my office at (360)786-7990 or emailing me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your calls, emails, and visits to the capitol are the best way I can continue to truly represent you. I look forward to answering any questions you may have and discussing the issues that matter the most to you.