The House and Senate Ways and Means Committee have advanced two bills to help policy makers focus on the long-term impact of budget decisions.
The House Ways and Means Committee advanced HB 2607: Requiring a six-year budget outlook tied to existing revenues. The Committee adopted an amendment reflecting the recommendation from my testimony that the budget outlook should be updated quarterly after the adoption of the state’s official revenue forecast.
Here is video of the Committee adoption of HB 2607: (Click here for video)
The Senate Ways and Means Committee adopted SJR 8222: Requiring six-year balanced budgets. Contrary to popular belief, lawmakers are not required to adopt a balanced budget under state law. The Governor is only required to propose one. According to the bill report for SJR 8222:
“Beginning with Fiscal Year 2014, the Legislature may not enact, nor may the Governor sign into law, a budget bill that makes appropriations from the state General Fund for that fiscal year in an amount that exceeds state General Fund Revenues, as forecast by the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council.
In addition, the Legislature may not enact, nor may the Governor sign into law, a budget bill that would require appropriations from the state General Fund to maintain current program and service levels in any of the five subsequent fiscal years in an amount that exceeds state General Fund Revenues for that fiscal year, as forecast by the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council.”
Here is video of the public hearing on SJR 8222: (Click here for video)
Next up for HB 2607 and SJR 8222 is consideration on the House and Senate floor pending approval by the Rules Committees.
[Reprinted from the Washington Policy Center blog; photo credit: krossbow]
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