(1) The Washington college savings program account is created in the custody of the state treasurer. The account shall be a discrete nontreasury account retaining its interest earnings in accordance with RCW 43.79A.040
(2) The governing body shall deposit in the account all moneys received for the program. The account shall be self-sustaining and consist of payments received for the purposes of college savings for the beneficiary. With the exception of investment and operating costs associated with the investment of money by a nonstate entity or paid under RCW 43.08.190
, and 43.84.160
, the account shall be credited with all investment income earned by the account. Disbursements from the account are exempt from appropriations and the allotment provisions of chapter 43.88
RCW. Money used for program administration is subject to the allotment of all expenditures. However, an appropriation is not required for such expenditures. Program administration includes, but is not limited to: The salaries and expenses of the Washington college savings program personnel including lease payments, travel, and goods and services necessary for program operation; contracts for Washington college savings program promotion and advertisement, audits, and account management; and other general costs of conducting the business of the Washington college savings program.
(3) The account is authorized to maintain a cash deficit in the account for a period no more than five fiscal years to defray its initial program administration costs. By December 31, 2017, the governing body shall establish a program administration spending plan and a fee schedule to discharge any projected cash deficit to the account. The legislature may make appropriations into the account for the purpose of reducing program administration costs.
(4) The assets of the account may be spent without appropriation for the purpose of making payments to institutions of higher education on behalf of the qualified beneficiaries, making refunds, transfers, or direct payments upon the termination of the Washington college savings program. Disbursements from the account shall be made only on the authorization of the governing body.
(5) With regard to the assets of the account, the state acts in a fiduciary, not ownership, capacity. Therefore the assets of the program are not considered state money, common cash, or revenue to the state.