S-3754.2  _______________________________________________


                         SENATE BILL 6679



State of Washington   57th Legislature        2002 Regular Session


By Senators Deccio, Snyder, Morton, T. Sheldon, Sheahan, Hargrove, Rasmussen, Honeyford, McCaslin and Winsley


Read first time 01/25/2002.  Referred to Committee on Ways & Means.

Preserving essential government services in the event of catastrophic county revenue losses.

    AN ACT Relating to preserving essential government services in the event of catastrophic county revenue losses; amending RCW 43.06.010; adding new sections to chapter 43.06 RCW; creating a new section; and declaring an emergency.




    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1.  It is the intent of the legislature to provide a process to preserve for residents of all counties the common protections of their rights, health, safety, and property in case of financial emergency.


    Sec. 2.  RCW 43.06.010 and 1994 c 223 s 3 are each amended to read as follows:

    In addition to those prescribed by the Constitution, the governor may exercise the powers and perform the duties prescribed in this and the following sections:

    (1) The governor shall supervise the conduct of all executive and ministerial offices;

    (2) The governor shall see that all offices are filled, including as provided in RCW 42.12.070, and the duties thereof performed, or in default thereof, apply such remedy as the law allows; and if the remedy is imperfect, acquaint the legislature therewith at its next session;

    (3) The governor shall make the appointments and supply the vacancies mentioned in this title;

    (4) The governor is the sole official organ of communication between the government of this state and the government of any other state or territory, or of the United States;

    (5) Whenever any suit or legal proceeding is pending against this state, or which may affect the title of this state to any property, or which may result in any claim against the state, the governor may direct the attorney general to appear on behalf of the state, and report the same to the governor, or to any grand jury designated by the governor, or to the legislature when next in session;

    (6) The governor may require the attorney general or any prosecuting attorney to inquire into the affairs or management of any corporation existing under the laws of this state, or doing business in this state, and report the same to the governor, or to any grand jury designated by the governor, or to the legislature when next in session;

    (7) The governor may require the attorney general to aid any prosecuting attorney in the discharge of the prosecutor's duties;

    (8) The governor may offer rewards, not exceeding one thousand dollars in each case, payable out of the state treasury, for information leading to the apprehension of any person convicted of a felony who has escaped from a state correctional institution or for information leading to the arrest of any person who has committed or is charged with the commission of a felony;

    (9) The governor shall perform such duties respecting fugitives from justice as are prescribed by law;

    (10) The governor shall issue and transmit election proclamations as prescribed by law;

    (11) The governor may require any officer or board to make, upon demand, special reports to the governor, in writing;

    (12)(a) The governor may, after finding that a public disorder, disaster, energy emergency, or riot exists within this state or any part thereof which affects life, health, property, or the public peace, proclaim a state of emergency in the area affected, and the powers granted the governor during a state of emergency shall be effective only within the area described in the proclamation.

    (b) After receipt of a declaration of revenue emergency by a county legislative authority, the governor may proclaim a county revenue emergency in that county, draw upon the unappropriated amount in the state treasury, and pay for the essential government services set forth under section 3 of this act;

    (13) The governor may, after finding that there exists within this state an imminent danger of infestation of plant pests as defined in RCW 17.24.007 or plant diseases which seriously endangers the agricultural or horticultural industries of the state of Washington, or which seriously threatens life, health, or economic well-being, order emergency measures to prevent or abate the infestation or disease situation, which measures, after thorough evaluation of all other alternatives, may include the aerial application of pesticides;

    (14) On all compacts forwarded to the governor pursuant to RCW 9.46.360(6), the governor is authorized and empowered to execute on behalf of the state compacts with federally recognized Indian tribes in the state of Washington pursuant to the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, 25 U.S.C. Sec. 2701 et seq., for conducting class III gaming, as defined in the Act, on Indian lands.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 3.  A new section is added to chapter 43.06 RCW to read as follows:

    A county legislative authority may by a vote of at least sixty percent of its members declare a revenue emergency.  At a minimum the resolution must find the following:

    (1) That county revenues, including unrestricted current expense fund balances, equal less than ninety percent of the average annual current expense budget for the previous two years;

    (2) That the county cannot provide the required services in any or all of the following areas:  Access to civil and criminal courts, public defense, constitutionally required translation services for non-English speakers, juvenile detention, juvenile parole, community supervision for adult offenders, indigent defense for dependency hearings, protection of public health, elections, timely assessment of property, recording of legal documents and titles, maintenance of a minimal police patrol and response function in unincorporated areas, processing of permits for development and construction, and other services required by the state or federal law or Constitution;

    (3) That the inability to fund required services is the result of a loss of state funds or a loss of local funds as a result of state action; and

    (4) That the county government will be unable to meet its legal obligations to provide services without state assistance.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 4.  A new section is added to chapter 43.06 RCW to read as follows:

    (1) Within twenty-four hours of making a declaration under section 3 of this act, the county legislative authority shall transmit copies of its declaration to all of the county government's other elected officials, the governor, the lieutenant governor, the secretary of state, the state treasurer, the state auditor, the state attorney general, the chief justice of the state supreme court, the speaker and minority leader of the state house of representatives, and the majority and minority leaders of the state senate.

    (2) Upon receiving a county's declaration of revenue emergency, the governor may direct state officials to collect additional information from the county to assist in making a final determination of the county's situation and requirements.  The governor shall respond within thirty days.  If the governor concurs that the county has a revenue emergency, the governor may proclaim a county revenue emergency and provide funds under RCW 43.06.010(12)(b).


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 5.  This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and takes effect immediately.


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