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Reason Foundation

State of the State: Washington in 2011

April 7, 2011, 12:00am

This is the last of a ten-part series on the 2011 State of the State (SOTS) speeches in states with the ten worst projected relative budget deficits for FY 2012. Budget data is from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ (CBPP) recent budget report, and SOTS speech text is from Stateline. CBPP’s data on states’ FY 2012 budget deficits as a percentage of their FY 2011 budget is the benchmark for relative budget deficits.

According to CBPP, Washington has the tenth worst relative budget deficit in FY 2012, equaling 18.5 percent of the state’s FY 2011 budget; and the eleventh highest absolute budget deficit in FY 2012, amounting to $2.9 billion.

On January 11, 2011 Washington Governor Christine Gregoire delivered her SOTS address (available here). She begins by comparing the state’s current economic downturn to the conditions during the Great Depression, she also highlights several major companies that have survived and thrived in Washington. Below are the policy highlights from Gov. Gregoire’s SOTS:

Policymakers in the Evergreen State face a daunting task in balancing the budget for FY 2012. Fortunately there are more choices than cutting spending and increasing taxes. States around the country are implementing innovative policy tools that are effectively reducing the cost and increasing the quality of public service delivery. Two valuable policy resources are the American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) State Budget Reform Toolkit and Reason Foundation’s Annual Privatization Report 2010: State Government Privatization section.

For the previous articles in this SOTS series, see: Texas, New Jersey, Louisiana, North Carolina, Wisconsin, California, Illinois, Nevada, Connecticut, Minnesota and Oregon.

Harris Kenny is Policy Analyst

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