The good news coming out of yesterday's Washington State Economic and Revenue Forecast Council meeting was the first upgraded revenue forecast in god knows how long. Revenue is now projected to come $29 million higher than previously forecast through the end of the 2011-2013 biennium. Revenue for the 2013-2015 biennium is now projected to come in $23 million higher than previously forecast.
The bad news is that economic growth remains slow, and that this slight revenue bump still leaves the state $2.7 billion short of sustaining existing programs while meeting the court mandated increases in basic education spending.
The solution? Partisan finger-wagging! Or so seems to think Republican pinch hitter Dino Rossi, making his first appearance on the council since he was tapped to fill out the term of former state Senator Cheryl Pflug. "Many of the wounds in the budget are self-inflicted," Rossi sneered in Senator Ed Murray's direction. "You guys will have to deal with it," smirked Rossi. "I'll be gone in November."
What a dick.
"It's unfortunate that this forum is degrading into a campaign theme," lamented Murray about Rossi's partisan tangent. And so it is. I've attended these Forecast Council meetings in the past, and they're generally all about the numbers. In fact, I don't remember representatives from either party baiting the other side this way. That's what the legislative session is for.
So I guess statewide voters knew what they were doing when they thrice rejected Rossi.