State lawmakers will be relieved that their budget problem didnt grow today.
On the other hand, it didnt shrink much either. The official shortfall, without counting court-mandated obligations to schools, stands still at just a bit more than $1.2 billion.
Todays revenue forecast, though, is significant as the starting gun to the legislative budget process. Now Gov. Jay Inslee and lawmakers will start putting out their budget plans.
State forecasters raised their expectations by $59 million for revenue in the current budget period through June 30, but decreased it by $19 million for the next two-year period. They also lowered their sights, by $48.7 million, for the 2015-2017 period that lawmakers must also keep in balance.
We have a hard problem to resolve. This doesnt make it worse, said House Budget Chairman Ross Hunter, a Democrat.