Senator Patty Kuderer Raided our State Rainy Day Fund on Sunny Day

By | June 14, 2018

Senator Patty Kuderder of 48th Legislative District listed lowering property taxes as one of her accomplishment in 2018. I happened to follow the bill, SB 6614, back in March. What Senator Kuderer did not tell voters in 48th District is that Kuderer and her Democrat colleagues creatively raided our Rainy Day Fund on sunny day without a 60% vote of the House and Senate as required by the constitution.

The initial SB 6614 bill digest states “Requires the state treasurer to transfer the sum of two hundred thirteen million dollars on July 1, 2018, and one hundred ninety million dollars on July 1, 2019, from the budget stabilization account (Rainy Day Fund) to the state general fund.” The problem was, in order to tap into the Rainy Day Fund, Democrats would need three-fifths super majority which they did not have.

Democrats creatively out-maneuvered the Rainy Day Fund’s three-fifth majority requirement by amending the original bill.  The final SB 6614 bill digest states “Redirects a certain amount of revenue, generated by the additional state levy, to the education legacy trust account in fiscal year 2019.” Democrats controlled Senate passed the bill on a 25-23 vote. Senator Walsh (R) was excused. Redirecting the money lowered state general fund revenues, as a result reduced the amount of money going into the state’s Rainy Day Fund by more than $700 million! State Treasurer Duane issued a statement “Senate’s Attempt to Divert Funds Sets Dangerous Precedent” and said the move to direct money away from the Rainy Day Fund could negatively impact the state’s bond rating, ability to pay down debt and flexibility to weather economic downturns. He called the move “short-sighted” and urged “the Legislature to not start a terrible precedent of diverting Rainy Day funding”.

In 2007, 68% of Washington voters approved SJR 8206 to amend the state Constitution and “to establish a Budget Stabilization Account (Rainy Day Fund). Each fiscal year, one percent of general state revenues are deposited to the Budget Stabilization Account.” Washington voters also deliberately made the money hard to spend by requiring “withdrawals from the Budget Stabilization Account may be made only by a three-fifths vote of the Legislature.” In 2011, 67% of Washington voters approved another ballot measure, SJR 8206, to amend the state constitution again by requiring “at the end of each fiscal biennium, three quarters of any extraordinary growth in state revenue is transferred to the Budget Stabilization Account. ” Both measures were approved by a majority of voters in every county.

By raiding the Rainy Day Fund without 60% super majority vote. Senator Patty Kuderer ignored the will of a strong majority of Washington voters. Kuderer betrayed voters’ trust, and she now wants voters of 48th LD to trust her for another term? The answer is NO. Vote Patty Kuderer out!

 

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