The nearly $800 million drop in state revenues announced today will delay the rollout of lawmakers’ first draft of the 2011-13 budget.
The House is first to try its hand at writing a budget this year, and budget vice-chairwoman Jeannie Darneille said a plan based on the previous shortfall of about $4.8 billion was “within a couple nanoseconds” of being finished.
It would have been made public Tuesday, she said, and voted out of the House by the end of next week. But after another bad revenue forecast brought the shortfall over the next 27 months to $5.3 billion, that time frame is “shattered,” said Darneille, D-Tacoma.
“This will force us back to the drawing board for Plan B,” she said.
So what’s Plan B? No specifics, but it will involve “very devastating cuts in virtually every sector,” she said.
But lawmakers knew weeks ago that revenue was likely to dip, right?
“There’s a difference,” Darneille said, “between us academically knowing things could get worse, and emotionally understanding that it is now worse.”