Better times returning, but fiscal prudence still warranted
July almost arrived before the Washington Legislature’s budget, in large part because lawmakers waited to see if the June revenue forecast would enable a deal that would satisfy tax-averse Republicans and cuts-averse Democrats. The wait paid off, and lawmakers approved a budget that avoided a possible state government shutdown.
The state-level developments provided the most visible proof of an improving revenue picture for federal, state and local governments, whose bottom lines were stretched by the long and deep national economic recession that started in 2007. Government workers were buffered compared to their private-sector counterparts, but not totally. The Yakima Herald-Republic reported last spring that state workers in Yakima County began feeling the pinch of layoffs in 2009, and local governments the following year.