STATE NEWS Governor Inslee announces cancellation of state worker pay raises

(BRANDON HANSEN/Chewelah Independent)

Facing new revenue forecasts that show the State of Washington will see a drop of income of $9 billion over the next three years, Governor Jay Inslee announced in a Wednesday press conference that he was cancelling pay raises for nearly 5,600 general government employees. Most state employees will also be furloughed one day a week beginning no later than June 28 through July 25.

This is expected to save around $55 million next year.

These state cuts exclude a pay raise for state employees scheduled for July 1. These raises will be canceled for for agency directors, exempt Management Service and Washington Management Service employees, and all other exempt employees who earn more than $53,000 annually.

Inslee said in the press conference that state organizations not under his authority to make similair moves. This could be directed towards higher education institutions, the legislature, courts and seperately elected officials. This could save the state an additional $91 million.

The press conference came after a report that Washington’s budget faces a $4.5 billion hole over the next year as the economy contracts and tax revenues fall from the COVID-19 pandemic. A special session of the state legislature to adjust the budget because of this is expected.