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                   SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION 8213



State of Washington      55th Legislature     1998 Regular Session


By Senators Zarelli, West, Rossi, Stevens, Anderson, Swecker, Oke, Schow and Benton


Read first time 01/14/98.  Referred to Committee on Ways & Means.

Requiring a two-thirds vote of each house of the legislature for certain revenue raising and spending actions.


    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 II, of the Constitution of the state of Washington by adding a new section to read as follows:


    Article II, section . . ..  (1) Any action or combination of actions by the legislature that raises state general fund revenue may be taken only if approved by a two-thirds vote of each house of the legislature.

    (2) The emergency reserve fund is established in the state treasury.  During each fiscal year, the state treasurer shall deposit in the emergency reserve fund all general fund--state revenues in excess of the state expenditure limit under chapter 43.135 RCW for that fiscal year.  Deposits shall be made at the end of each fiscal quarter based on projections of state revenues and the state expenditure limit.  In addition to deposits under this section, the legislature may direct other funds to be deposited in the emergency reserve fund.  The legislature may appropriate moneys from the emergency reserve fund only with approval of at least two-thirds of the members of each house of the legislature, and then only if the appropriation does not cause total expenditures to exceed the state expenditure limit.

    (3) The emergency reserve fund balance shall not exceed five percent of biennial general fund--state revenues as projected by the official state revenue forecast.  Any balance in excess of five percent shall be transferred on a quarterly basis by the state treasurer to the education construction fund hereby created in the state treasury.  Funds may be appropriated from the education construction fund exclusively for common school construction or higher education construction.  Funds may be appropriated for any other purpose only if approved by a two-thirds vote of each house of the legislature and if approved by a vote of the people at the next general election.

    (4) A new fund or account funded directly from tax revenues may be established by the legislature only if approved by a two-thirds vote of each house of the legislature.


    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the secretary of state shall cause notice of the foregoing constitutional amendment to be published as provided by law.


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