Drop in revenue forecast forcing budget re-writes

Washington state capitol dome in Olympia

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- The Legislature's key budget writers say the roll out of their budgets has been delayed after the latest revenue forecast showed the state is projected to lose an additional $780 million in tax collections during the next two years.

The House was expected to unveil their budget next week, followed by the Senate. But the latest forecast by chief economist Arun Raha shows that the economic recovery has been slow.

The lawmakers' key task this session is to write the state next two-year budget. State officials say $37 billion are needed to upkeep current state programs and demands. Raha says revenue for the next biennium will be $32 billion.

Gregoire proposed a $32 billion budget, mostly from major cuts to large programs and money transfers. Gregoire, senators and House lawmakers are now working to address the $5 billion gap.

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