Grim Outlook for State Operating Budget - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Grim Outlook for State Operating Budget

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OLYMPIA, Wash. -- The state legislature's 60-day session is now complete, with state lawmakers adjourning after approving a state budget that juggles fresh spending with grim predictions of deficits.

Simply put the state's spending is outweighing its revenue by nearly ten-percent.

The budget was released at 10a.m. on Wednesday and took only till today to be approved.

It adds $206 million to the state operating budget.

However, it sets increases in the spending growth rate at 16.2%, more than double the revenue growth rate at 7.3%.

Total Near-General Fund spending will jump to $33.7 billion with only $32 billion projected revenue. Leaving the fund out of balance by $1.7 billion dollars.

The Senate Ways and Means staff's 4-year-outlook is forecasting a budget shortfall of $2.4 billion from 2009 to 2011 and over $5 billion from 2011 to 2013.

It is not known which taxes if any will be increased as a result, but many representatives say an increase is a must to support this operating budget.