The growth of state spending

  • Reported by Chuck Taylor and Jerry Cornfield / Herald Writers
  • Friday, January 25, 2013 7:58pm
  • Local NewsLocal news

The state budget being tackled by the Legislature is a monster — a complicated two-year plan that must balance sometimes-difficult-to-predict revenue streams with predictably difficult spending decisions. Most of the discretionary spending — and the news from Olympia — lies in a general fund of about $33 billion. But the whole shebang, the check-register total for everything, from state payroll to highway construction, is more than twice that.

While state budget cuts have been much in the news in recent years, overall spending has steadily increased, in no small part due to rising costs beyond the state’s control, such as health care, and contractual obligations to state employees. These numbers have been adjusted for inflation, with all of the biennia expressed in 2012 dollars. Some economists think the Consumer Price Index we used for the adjustment overstates the rate of inflation, so the actual increase from the 2001-03 biennium to the 2013-15 biennium, for example, could be greater than the 24.0 percent shown here.

Crunch the numbers yourself

  • Above, we’ve posted the Excel spreadsheet we used to make these calculations.
  • You can learn more at the excellent Washington State Fiscal Information website at fiscal.wa.gov.

More in Local News

Snohomish mayoral candidates have very little in common

Karen Guzak and John Kartak are vying for the new position.

Second teen charged after $1 million in school vandalism

Two teens now face felony charges for damage at two schools in Darrington last summer.

Majority of Marysville City Council seats are contested

The most closely watched race is between Mark James and Donna Wright.

A potentially transformative council election in Snohomish

As the city adopts a new form of government, many new faces are seeking office.

Mill Creek hires Gina Hortillosa as public works director

Hortillosa will be responsible for creating strategic infrastructure plans to promote economic growth.

1 shot dead, another wounded in apparent Everett robbery

There are indications the victims might have known the shooter, who apparently fled in a vehicle.

This dental office devoted a day to free care for veterans

All Smiles Northwest in Everett was among businesses observing Freedom Day USA.

Dead boy’s ‘gentle giant’ uncle helped search, then confessed

Andrew Henckel, 19, of Texas, said he planned the drowning of Dayvid Pakko, 6. His bail is $1 million.

Most Read