This email was forwarded to me so I thought I would share it. The jest of it is the Governors Budget came back more favorable to WDF&W but all should remember that traditionally the Governor's Budget is DOA once the legislative process starts up. It is a much better starting point for Willapa & GH to be sure but I think some in Puget Sound will feel otherwise.
From: Anderson, Philip M
Sent: Thursday, December 18, 2014 4:29 PM
To: DFW DL WDFW Staff
Subject: Budget Summary
today the Governor released both his operating and capital budget proposals for
the 2015-2017 biennium. Considering there is a projected state general fund
budget shortfall of up to $4.5 billion, WDFW fared quite well. The 105
day legislative session begins on January 12 and the Governor’s budget
proposals will be the starting point for legislative budget development.
The House and Senate will release their respective proposals in March and then
work on a compromise budget will begin. Each chamber must agree on the
final compromise budget before they adjourn for the year. We should see a
legislative budget in late April which will provide funding state agencies for
the next two fiscal years beginning July 1, 2015. There will also be a
2015 supplemental budget which will make final changes to the current biennium
which ends on June 30, 2015.
Here is a
link to the Governor’s budget page which includes the appropriations bills, and
other supporting documentation. http://ofm.wa.gov/budget15/default.asp
brief summary of the Governor’s capital budget for WDFW:
The proposal includes $10.5 million for minor works projects…the appropriation
amount is equivalent to the current biennium. Minor works project are
those projects costing less than $1 million and includes projects such as:
corrections to facility safety deficiencies; replace hatchery pumps, alarms and
emergency generators; fish cultural improvements; road maintenance; roof
repairs and various other facility and infrastructure repairs.
Governor’s proposal included $36.1 million for major projects, a significant
increase from the $13.5 million WDFW received in the current biennium.
Funded projects include: Kalama Falls Hatchery ($4M); Soos Creek
Hatchery, Phase 2 ($17M); Repairs to Edmonds Pier ($800K); Floodplain Improvement,
Wooten Wildlife Area ($4M); Marblemount Hatchery Intake ($2.3M); Lake Whatcom
Hatchery Intake ($1.4M); Puyallup Hatchery Renovation ($570K for pre-design);
Eells Springs Hatchery Improvements ($4.6M); Fir Island Farms Restoration
($500K); and Lake Rufus Woods Fishing Access ($1M).
Next is a
summary of the Governor’s 2015-17 biennium and the 2015 supplemental operating
budget proposals for WDFW:
State General Fund Reduction Options:
Part of the
Governor’s strategy to meet the challenge of developing a budget with a
significant shortfall was to require state agencies to develop state general
fund reduction options equal to 15 percent of their state general fund support.
Our mandated target was $10.8 million and the Governor’s budget takes
approximately $2.0 million of that amount. None of the reductions
included in Governor Inslee’s operating budget proposal will reduce current
Governor’s budget proposal includes two reductions that will affect
hatcheries. These are production reductions at George Adams Hatchery (56%
reduction in fall Chinook production) and Hoodsport Hatchery (affects chum,
fall Chinook, and pink salmon production). The Governor chose not to
include any of the hatchery closure that were contained in our proposal.
proposal also reduces funding for 3 Enforcement Officer positions. This
reduction will affect currently vacant officer positions and will not
necessitate a reduction of currently filled officer positions.
level budget requests are intended to maintain current service levels.
Almost all of our maintenance level requests were funded at requested levels
with the exception of our payments-in-lieu of taxes (PILT) and funding for
hatchery utility increases. The PILT payments are basically property tax
payments to counties for WDFW owned wildlife lands. We also did not receive
funding for utility increases at hatcheries, although we should be able to
obtain this funding during the 2016 session. There will be no effect to
staffing levels as a result of this proposed funding level.
Biennium Selected Major Enhancements:
Legislation ($7.0 million) -WDFW’s
number one priority budget request, the fee bill, is funded in the Governor’s
proposal and is projected to raise an additional $7.0 million per biennium
primarily to support salmon production, hatchery maintenance, enforcement, and
fisheries management activities throughout the state.
Puget Sound Fish Health ($1.5 million)- Funding was provided to track contaminants in Puget
Sound fish species. The funding will allow WDFW to fully implement fish contaminant
and assessment and monitoring efforts as part of the Puget Sound Ecosystem
Recover Puget Sound Steelhead ($800K)- Funding was provided to continue
WDFW’s efforts to study the extremely high mortality of steelhead smolts once
they enter the Puget Sound.
invasive species funding ($800K)-
WDFW received funding to support our Aquatic Invasive Species Program as bridge
funding for one biennium, practically doubling their biennial budget.
This funding is intended to bolster our ability to combat the threat of
invasive species and to work on getting future funding to increase our work in
Elk Hoof Disease ($250K)-
Funding is provided to support continued efforts to limit the spread of this
Governor’s budget funds the collective bargaining agreement which includes a 3
percent increase in the first fiscal year and 1.8 percent increase in the
second fiscal year for state employees as well as a $20 per month increase for
employees earning less than $2500 per month. Funding is also included for
Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE) salary adjustments for targeted
job classes with increases that range from 2.5 to 10 percent. Affected
job classes at WDFW are as follows: Contracts Specialists 1-3 (2.5%);
Environmental Planner 2 (2.5%); Fish and Wildlife Biologist 2-4 (10%); Forms and
Records Analyst 1-3 (2.5%); Management Analyst 1-5 (2.5%) and Natural Resource
Specialist 1-5 (2.5%).
the requested amount to pay the Department of Natural Resources for fighting
wildfires and for restoration costs on WDFW lands from the serious wildfires
this spring and summer.
funding adjustments provide enough funding to see WDFW through to the end the
WDFW ended up with a favorable budget from the Governor considering the current
state budget climate. This is positive first step that puts us in a
favorable position at the outset of legislative budget development.
Thanks to everyone who worked with the Governor’s Office over the past few
months helping them to understand the importance of our work. We will update
you in the coming weeks and months as we have new information to share.
_______________________________________________ Members mail
Posted on Sun, December 21, 2014
by Dave Hamilton