State of Washington
66th Legislature
2019 Regular Session
BySenators Braun, Becker, Brown, Fortunato, Honeyford, O'Ban, Palumbo, Rivers, Schoesler, Wagoner, and Wilson, L.
Read first time 02/01/19.Referred to Committee on Ways & Means.
THAT, At the next general election to be held in this state the secretary of state shall submit to the qualified voters of the state for their approval and ratification, or rejection, an amendment to Article VIII of the Constitution of the state of Washington by adding a new section to read as follows:
Article VIII, section . . .. (1) The state must adopt a four-year balanced budget as follows:
(a) The governor shall propose and the legislature shall enact a balanced omnibus operating appropriations bill that leaves, in total, a positive ending fund balance in the state general fund and related funds for the fiscal biennium.
(b) The projected maintenance level of the omnibus operating appropriations bill proposed by the governor or enacted by the legislature shall not exceed the available fiscal resources for the next ensuing fiscal biennium.
(c) Subsection (1)(a) and (b) of this section does not apply to an appropriations bill that makes net reductions in general fund and related funds appropriations and is enacted between July 1st and February 15th of any fiscal year. Subsection (1)(b) of this section does not apply in a fiscal biennium in which: (i) The employment growth forecast is estimated to be less than one percent; and (ii) money is appropriated from the budget stabilization account under Article VII, section 12(d)(ii) of this Constitution.
(d) The term "available fiscal resources" means the beginning general fund and related fund balances and any fiscal resources estimated for the general fund and related funds, adjusted for enacted legislation and any vetoed section or appropriation item in that omnibus operating appropriations bill, and with forecasted revenues adjusted to the greater of (i) the official general fund and related funds revenue forecast for the ensuing biennium, or (ii) the official general fund and related funds forecast for the second fiscal year of the current fiscal biennium, increased by 4.5 percent for each fiscal year of the ensuing biennium. The term "projected maintenance level" means estimated appropriations necessary to maintain the continuing costs of program and service levels either funded in that proposed or enacted appropriations bill or mandated by other state or federal law, and the amount of any general fund moneys projected to be transferred to the budget stabilization account pursuant to Article VII, section 12 of this Constitution.
(2) General fund and related fund balances and forecasts shall be made by the state economic and revenue forecast council appointed and authorized as provided by statute, or successor agency.
(3) The legislature shall enact laws to carry out the purposes of this section, including defining the term "related funds."
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the secretary of state shall cause notice of this constitutional amendment to be published at least four times during the four weeks next preceding the election in every legal newspaper in the state.
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