How is the Budget Created?

Published Mar. 14, 2013

How is the Budget Created?

With a new Governor, we have seen many administration changes. Kevin Quigley, a former State Senator from Snohomish County, is the new Secretary for the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS). His background is in business and law. The first major change is that he elevated the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) to an Assistant Secretary position who will report directly to DSHS Secretary Quigley. It also was renamed the Developmental Disabilities Administration.

We bid farewell to Linda Rolfe, the long-time Director for DDD, who retired on February 28th after 44 ½ years.  Kathy Leitch, a former ADSA Assistant Secretary, will lead the new Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) as interim Assistant Secretary. A search is underway for a permanent Assistant Secretary.

Jane Beyer, who was previously the Assistant Secretary of ADSA, will now lead the new Behavioral Health and Service Integration Administration.  Bill Moss, the current ADSA Deputy Assistant Secretary, is the interim Aging and Long-term Support Administration as Acting Assistant Secretary.

How is the Budget Created?

The chart below details the process for the creation of the State Biennial Budget. The first budget proposal comes from the Governor in December of each even numbered year. For the 2013-2015 Biennial Budget, Governor Gregoire was required to provide a balanced Operating Budget that showed expenditures for current state programs and services being provided within current estimates for state revenue. She called this budget proposal Book 1. In order to offer a balanced budget, she had to propose cutting some programs and services that she felt would have unacceptable consequences for people across the state and hinder the state’s economic recovery.  The solution is her Book 2 budget proposal which preserves essential services, but also relies on the creation of new revenue.

Based on legislation that passed in 2012, the Legislature is required by law to adopt on Operating Budget that leaves the General Fund with a positive end balance. In addition, the projected maintenance costs can’t exceed the revenues that are available in the next biennium.

ERFC = Economic & Revenue Forecast Council
OFM = Office of Financial Management

Once the budget proposals have all been released, a Conference Committee comprised of six fiscal leaders representing both political parties and both Houses (called the four corners) work with the Governor’s office to come to agreement on a final budget. Once the budget passes a vote in both the Senate and the House of Representatives, the budget then goes to the Governor for signature. The Governor may veto all of the budget or select parts of the budget to veto, but cannot add money to the budget that the Legislature did not appropriate.

Bills of Interest – what’s left goes through the whole process again.

We have now passed the middle of session cut-off for bills, meaning that if the bill has not passed from the House it originated in, then the bill is dead, maybe. Some bills can appear to have died, but because they could impact some portion of the budget, they could be considered NTIB (Necessary To Implement the Budget). You can always find the updated list at, just click on Legislative Issue Papers where you will access the Budget Information and Bills of Interest.

What can you do now?

There are five Advocacy Days left. There are lots of new things this year. Attendees get a “Passport” which will be stamped for coming to activities, completing evaluations (on paper or online) and more! At the end of session we will be handing out some prizes. Come see what the fun is all about!

2013 Advocacy Day Schedule
All Advocacy Days are held at United Churches (110 - 11th Street in Olympia).

Mar 20th Respite/Family Services (Walk in My Shoes Protest)
Mar 27th Behavior Supports
April 3rd Healthcare
April 10th Civil Rights
April 17th Session Wrap-up

DON’T FORGET TO WEAR YOUR BLUE SCARF AND DRESS IN BLUE. For more information on Advocacy Day events visit and click on Advocacy Day.

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