Historical Washington State Budget

This is the past and current Washington state budget, as just passed by the House for 2011-2013. Further changes are expected as the Senate takes up the debate.

Here is the same chart showing the 2011-2013 budget as if the desired amount was passed. (This might be called the idealistic fantasy budget which refers to the starting point of what state agencies request for funding.)

When you hear about a $5.1 billion or $4.4 billion “spending cut”, what the legislature is talking about is a cut from the “desired budget”. As you can see above, the “desired budget” would have accelerated the growth in state spending.

The source for the above chart data is the Washington State Office of Financial Management and the Washington State Data Book. The “budget” that we hear about refers to the “General Fund”. There are other funds and expenditures besides those in the General Fund budget, which in English means that actual government spending in the state is a little more than twice the amount spent in the “General Fund”.

I do not know why the media fails to provide these charts.


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