A two-year biennial operating budget is adopted every odd-numbered year. Supplemental budgets frequently are enacted in each of the following two years after adoption of the biennial budget. Appropriations are made in the biennial and supplemental budgets for the operation of state government and its various agencies and institutions, including higher education, as well as allocations for the funding of K-12 public schools.
On January, 27, 2020, the United States Department of Health and Human Services declared a public health emergency due to the highly contagious and potentially deadly COVID-19 virus. On February 29, 2020, the Governor declared a statewide state of emergency that the COVID-19 outbreak is a public disaster affecting life, health, property and public peace.
The federal government has enacted five major appropriations bills related to COVID-19:
Federal funds come into the state in a variety of forms. Federal funds are sent directly to individuals and businesses and are also provided to state and local governments to administer federal programs, or to aid in the funding of state and local programs and services. Federal funds often contain restrictions on how the money may be spent or require a state match or maintenance of state effort to use the federal funds. Federal funds received by the state of Washington are part of the general fund and generally subject to the budget and appropriation process, but generally not subject to the state constitutional restrictions.
The bill appropriates $2.2 billion in federal funding from a combination of the federal CRRSA, the CRF under the federal CARES Act, and Medicaid for K-12 public schools, public health, healthcare, assistance to individuals and families, housing assistance, and business assistance. Funding includes: