Somber News Delivered with Improvements in Transparency

Duane Davidson ERFC meeting

Today’s Economic & Review Forecast Council meeting resulted in an alarming yet expected forecast of declining revenue for the State of Washington. The meeting also resulted in a new level of transparency for the state’s rainy day fund.

We are certainly dismayed but not surprised by the revised forecast, and now face the fact that the state needs to make difficult choices in the near future to close the budget gap.

However, I am delighted that the ERFC approved a motion that I made back in January to heighten transparency by including the rainy day fund in our summary reports going forward. Seeing it reported as a percentage of state revenues helps highlight the importance of the rainy day fund and gives us an additional tool to monitor and ensure its adequacy. I appreciate the support that I received from my fellow Council members on this issue.

The rainy day fund was designed for tough times like these. While the fund will not cure our current crisis, it certainly will help ensure that teachers, health care professionals, social workers, and other critical workers can keep providing their services. My hope is that by more prominently highlighting the rainy day fund in relation to state revenues, we will keep this important lesson in mind and properly refund the account when the state is able.