In a bit of welcome news, the Economic & Revenue Forecast Council (ERFC) last week projected revenue collections for the 2019–21 state budget have increased by more than $2.2 billion and by more than $2.4 billion for the 2021-2023 biennium. The new forecast reduces the earlier June revenue loss projection by about half. Among the reasons for the improved projections are a stronger than expected real estate market, and stronger than expected retail sales supported by federal relief spending.
WSHA is planning a webcast in November to highlight the election results and discuss the budget situation prior to the 2021 legislative session in January. November’s revenue forecast will include caseload growths, such as Medicaid. Even with the welcomed news from September’s forecast, legislators will still have a difficult task in the upcoming session, where significant cuts and/or additional revenue increases will be needed to balance the budget. (Andrew Busz, firstname.lastname@example.org)