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Notes From Olympia: Dec. 14, Governor’s Proposed Budget

This edition includes key early learning items from Governor Jay Inslee’s proposed $70 billion 2023-25 biennial budget.

Erica Hallock December 14, 2022
  • Policy and Systems
  • Blog

A note from the author: I took a tumble down my icy front steps and broke my wrist. It is a little challenging to write and type at the moment, so please be patient with this quick budget summary!

Governor’s Budget Summary

On Dec. 14, Governor Jay Inslee released his proposed $70 billion 2023-25 biennial budget. At the press conference announcing his proposed investments, Governor Inslee highlighted his priorities of housing and behavioral health.

Of course his budget includes a number of other worthy and needed investments, as outlined in his Budget and Policy Highlights. Note that page 30 includes a summary of the Governor’s ECEAP investments. Now that the Governor’s priorities have been released, attention turns to the Legislature as they will begin to build their budget when they gather in Olympia on Jan. 9.

Budget writers are closely following the state’s revenue picture. Also on Dec. 14, the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council released an update showing General Fund-State revenue collections for Nov. 11 – Dec. 10, 2022. Overall revenues came in $4.5 million lower than forecasted in November. Revenue Act collections (e.g. sales and business and occupations tax) came in $39.1 million higher than the November forecast. Conversely, non-Revenue Act Collections (e.g. property tax) came in $44.7 million lower than forecasted. Given this fluctuation, we will continue to monitor revenue collections closely as they influence state spending.

Governor Inslee’s proposed budget includes the following key early learning items:

Child Care

  • Family Child Care Collective Bargaining ($231.165M). This funding would increase the Family, Friend and Neighbor (FFN) hourly rate to $3.85 in SFY 24 and $4 in SFY 25; increase the base subsidy rate to the 85th percentile of the 2021 market rate survey, increase the cost of care rate enhancement to $2,100 per month; pay for background checks and fingerprinting for licensed family home providers.
  • Child Care Center Rate Increase Working Connections Child Care ($142.4M in new funding). This funding would ensure all providers are paid a rate that reflects at least the 85th percentile of the 2021 market rate survey. This includes a subset of providers who were paid at a rate that exceeded the market rate and will not receive a reduction in payment.
  • Equity Grants ($18.69M).
  • Working Connections Child Care Complex Needs ($15.396M).
  • Background Check Fee Assistance ($897,000). This funding includes payment of background check application fees and fingerprint processing fees for FY 24.


  • Rate Increase ($107.026M). This funding includes a 40% rate increase.
  • Expansion ($83.583M). This funding supports 2,000 new slots per year; of these, 1,700 are school-day and 300 working-day.

Early Learning Facilities (Capital Budget)

  • Early Learning Facilities Expansion ($40M).
  • Facilities Minor Renovation ($5M).
  • School District Funding ($5.4M). Funding for Bethel School District $1.08M; Highline School District $809,000; Issaquah School District $1.057M; Orondo School District $1.080M; South Bend School District $300,000; and the Toppenish School District $1.08M.

Home Visiting

  • Contract Adjustments ($9.3M).
  • Expansion ($1.5M). This funding would serve 160-200 new families.

Other Early Learning Investments

  • Audit Resolution ($2.583M). This funding is in response to the State Auditor’s findings, which includes funding and FTE staff to allow DCYF to perform cost allocation at the child-level detail.
  • Dolly Parton Imagination Library ($5.279M).
  • Pierce County Prevention Pilot ($1.742M). This funding would continue the pilot in Pierce County for universal newborn supports and resource linkages.
  • Tribal Early Learning Grants ($10.279M). This is one-time funding to provide early learning grants to provide culturally appropriate early learning opportunities for Tribal children.

About the Author

Erica Hallock

Erica Hallock

Director, Policy & Advocacy, Start Early Washington

Erica Hallock serves as the Director of Policy and Advocacy for Start Early Washington. She has worked in early childhood, health and human services policy in both California and Washington state.

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