Governor Inslee released his proposed 2018 supplemental budget. Generally speaking, there isn’t much in this budget for counties to be either worried or excited about, as you would expect in a supplemental budget year.


  • Total expenditures equal $44.4 billion. This is a billion more than the 2017-2019 budget enacted in July ($43.4)
  • New expenditures are funded by $950 million from the state’s reserves and about $300 million in new revenue that was unanticipated in June
  • The Governor proposes backfilling reserves through carbon tax legislation that he will propose in January

WSAC Requests

  • The Governor did not invest any new resources on county indigent defense costs
  • The Department of Commerce was appropriated $150,000 to conduct a study of local government responsibilities and revenue capacity

Notable Expenditures

  • $950 million is spent on teacher salaries to meet the Supreme Court’s November ruling that the state is not acting quickly enough to enact its McCleary plan
  • $100 million on state mental health capacity, including safety investments and increased beds at the state mental hospital
  • $162 million to cover shortfalls in Medicaid
  • $98 million to restores savings from the last budget that were based on faulty assumptions
  •  $19 million to combat the opioid crisis ($4 million in prevention, which would likely be public health)
  • $42 million increase for wildfire costs
  • $3 million for efforts to recover the Southern Resident Orca population
  •  $1.8 million for small & rural business development
  • $.3 million to create a Rural Broadband office
  • $16 million for a 3% COLA for PERS & TERS 1 retirees (legislation will be introduced to increase the local government employers contribution rates to match the state contribution)
  • One additional training at the Basic Law Enforcement Academy is added for 2019 (in addition to the six added in the last budget)
  • Assumes a reduction in tobacco revenue from passage of the administration’s proposal to raise the smoking age to 21

Capital Budget

  • The Governor proposed a complete capital spending plan based on the Legislature’s latest “agreed to” plan from last session as the base
  • $10 million is spent for Coordinated Prevention Grants for solid waste and hazardous waste programs
  • $20 million for water availability projects (part of the Hirst package)
  • School construction is a major priority – about 100 projects are funded across the state
  • $65 million on building mental health capacity in communities through new diversion and detox facilities
  • $27 million on additional forensic wards at Western State Hospital
  • $113 million for affordable housing projects
  • $40 million on clean energy grants
  • $279 million for local government wastewater, stormwater and drinking water systems
  • $18 million for forest fire hazard reduction projects

Transportation Budget

  • The Governor also released a proposed supplemental transportation budget that includes several new state projects

Josh Weiss started working in Olympia in 1998 and in addition to spending the last 8 years at WSAC, has served as nonpartisan counsel to the House of Representatives, Legislative Director for the Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Environmental Policy Director for the Washington Forest Protection Association representing private forest landowners. Josh is a graduate of Central Washington University and the Vermont Law School, and is a fourth generation Washingtonian.

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