Washington's Budget Shortfall


OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP)--Washington lawmakers now face a $1.2 billion budget shortfall.
The state Economic and Revenue Forecast Council said in its quarterly report Wednesday that higher reliance on state government services is driving up expenses. Revenues remained stable, and Gov. Jay Inslee's budget director says the numbers are relatively good news.
Budget writers entered the year with a roughly $1 billion shortfall and had expected that the numbers may get worse. The Legislature is separately under court order to add more money to K-12 education.
Some Democrats have talked about new tax revenues to help balance the budget while Republicans say the Legislature can finish a budget without new money.
Lawmakers are expected to release their budget proposals in the coming weeks.