Eyman’s Initiative 1033 will dig us deeper into recession economics over the coming years. In a newly released policy brief by the Washington Research Council on Initiative 1033, details are provided on the serious negative impacts of I-1033 over the next several budget cycles.
Eyman likes to talk about how I-1033 limits growth and points to a graph showing how state revenue will continue to increase. What this graph does not show is how this revenue projection is below the money needed to sustain the state budget in a maintenance mode. I-1033 is not just a freeze on public services; it will contribute to a deepening recession and loss of more services and jobs for our state.
As the Washington Research Council notes, current projections show the state budget for 2009-2011 having a negative balance of $195 million. I-1033 would increase the budget shortfall to $871 million. This is for a maintenance budget- no new programs.
The impact on the 2011-2013 state budget is even worse. Here’s what the Washington Research Council says the Impact on the 2011 -2013 State Budget would be:
Even without passage of I-1033, the budget outlook for 2011–13 is grim. While the 2009 legislature did make substantial real cuts in spending, it also relied heavily on onetime money to balance the 2009–11 budget. Incorporating the June forecast, general fund spending for the biennium exceeds revenues by $1.4 billion. In addition, $2.5 billion in federal stimulus funds are being used to sustain programs that would normally be funded through the general fund. For 2011–13 these programs will shift back to the general fund.
Using OFM’s revenue growth assumptions, general fund revenues are expected to grow by $3.5 billion from 2009–11 to 2011–13.
We have yet to see projections of “maintenance-level” cost increases for 2011–13. Looking backwards, the maintenance level increase for the 2007-09 biennium was $1.4 billion, while the maintenance level increase for 2009-11 was $2.1 billion.
With a $1.4 billion maintenance level increase, the budget gap for 2011–13 would be $1.8 billion; with a $2.1 billion maintenance level increase the gap would be $2.5 billion. I-1033 would expand these gaps to $3.8 billion and $4.5 billion, respectively.
The word grim is bad enough. I-1033 will make our future even more grim. I-1033 results in increased negative growth in the state budget as well as for the budgets of all 281 cities and 39 counties.
Things are bad enough as they are. Why would we want to make them worse? Vote NO on I-1033! Eyman’s anti-government, anti-tax initiatives are like a car with a broken transmission that only works in reverse. I-1033 is a bad idea. Just say No!