Budget

September 14, 2011 - Revenue Forcast

Update from Les

Tomorrow morning the state will release a new revenue forecast for the next two years. It is widely expected that the forecast will predict a significant budget shortfall. In anticipation of this, the Governor has called on state agencies, including Evergreen, to prepare plans for a possible 10 percent budget reduction. You may have seen news reports over the past few weeks describing the dire consequences that could follow such action. Those reports are likely to continue with even greater intensity following tomorrow's forecast.

It is important to keep tomorrow's forecast and the accompanying media coverage in some perspective. State funding now represents just over 30 percent of our overall operating budget, so a 10 percent cut in state funding to Evergreen equates to about a 3 percent reduction in our overall operating budget.

Because we were anticipating further declines in state funding when we developed our 2011-13 budget last spring, we built a buffer into our budget. That buffer will help cover some, but probably not all, of the additional cuts. Tomorrow's revenue forecast will set in motion a political process that will take several months to unfold. That process will determine size and timing of cuts. The sooner the legislature makes a final decision, the more months we will have to implement them and spread out the impacts.

As usual, we will keep you posted as we learn more about the state’s decisions regarding funding for higher education and for Evergreen. Information and links to our Government Affairs office, budget office and other resources will be available on our budget web site.

In the meantime, we will continue to work with our partners in higher education and other supporters to inform legislators and raise public awareness about the impacts of past and prospective state budget cuts on students, higher education infrastructure and the long-term economic vitality of our state.

http://www.erfc.wa.gov/forecast/documents/pres0911.pdf

Les Purce
President