Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I hope you are enjoying your summer so far. I thought this would be a good time to check in with you on a few issues.
The governor signed the state budget on June 15 and touted that it had more than $700 million in reserves. The following day, our state Economic and Revenue Forecast Council revealed these reserves had already been reduced to around $160 million. As we approach the September 15 revenue forecast, preliminary reports suggest revenue collections will be down once again. This may require the governor to make across-the-board cuts in state government, or call the Legislature in for a special session, to address the budget deficit.
The June economic and revenue forecast revealed that we've had some growth, but at a slower rate than before. Our state's chief economist, Dr. Arun Raha, explained how the “dual headwinds” of higher gas prices and disruptions to the manufacturing supply chain due to problems in Japan have hurt our recovery.
- Since 2009, 38 percent of all jobs created in the United States have gone to one state: Texas.
- In 2010, two-thirds of new jobs were created in 11 states. Washington was not one of them.
Our responsibility as a Legislature is to provide certainty to the private sector in our state — by creating a business environment that fosters innovation and creativity — so we can get Washington working again. The good news is our state's economic recovery is expected to pick up some momentum in the last half of 2011. Our challenges are an important reminder that state lawmakers must do all they can to strengthen the economy and create jobs.
You can watch me talk about jobs and the economy on Comcast Newsmakers with Steve Mumm by clicking here or on the picture to the right.
It is an honor to serve you. Please contact me if I can ever be of assistance or if you would like a speaker for an event.
421 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7922 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000