House OKs bailout for Wenatchee agency

first_imgOLYMPIA — The state House is moving ahead with a plan to pull a Wenatchee-area agency from default and seize tax dollars if local jurisdictions fail to repay the dues.The 56-33 vote on Monday came after lawmakers approved an amendment that would require a public vote on any tax increases in the local jurisdictions.Republican Rep. Mike Armstrong of Wenatchee said it will be difficult for local officials to secure voter approval of the taxes, and he believes the terms of the rescue plan are too onerous. Democratic Rep. Ross Hunter said the plan makes it clear to bond markets that officials will make good on debts.State leaders have feared that the default would make it more difficult for local governments in Washington to borrow money.Local legislators Monday split on the approval of the bill to bail out the Wenatchee-area agency’s $42 million debt default.“There were good reasons to vote yes and there were good reasons to vote no,” Rep. Ed Orcutt, R-Kalama, said after the House’s vote, which was its first of the special session.Before the vote, Orcutt successfully amended the bill to require that a voters in the Wenatchee area approve any tax increase that would be used to repay the state loan.last_img read more

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