Outlook estimates $5 billion on education through 2021
OLYMPIA, Wash. — The state Economic and Revenue Forecast Council has adopted a new budget outlook that includes an estimate that the state will spend more than $5 billion through 2021 to comply with a court order on education funding.
The outlook was adopted over the objections of Republican lawmakers on the council, who argued that a task force is still working to determine the actual amount that needs to be spent, and that the outlook shouldn’t include estimates for policies that have not yet been enacted by the Legislature.
Lawmakers return to the Capitol on January as the state continues to be under a contempt order by the state Supreme Court. The court has given the state until Sept. 1, 2018 to fully fund education, but has ordered that the details of how to do that — as well as how lawmakers will pay for it — must be in place before the Legislature adjourns next year.