Washington lawmakers are planning an emergency session to plug a hole of at least $7 billion in the state budget — one that may dwarf the shortfall they dealt with a decade ago during the Great Recession.
Preliminary numbers suggest that, over the next three years, Washington state tax revenues will come in about $7 billion lower than previously expected. The actual revenue loss may be even greater, since the estimate is based on data from early in the coronavirus pandemic, before the economy collapsed further when unemployment soared and personal spending plummeted.
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Many of the areas targeted for possible reductions are the same ones that took a beating during the last recession. Those include higher education and many social services.