OLYMPIA -- The Legislature should not dilly-dally with a supplemental state budget that figures out how to reduce expenses through the end of June, State Treasurer James McIntire said Wednesday.
They should pass the revised spending plan by the end of the month "without gimmmicks or delay" to keep the state general fund from running a deficit for the first time in three decades.
In what McIntire himself describes as a strongly worded letter to the heads of the two parties in the two houses and Gov. Chris Gregoire, the state's banker essentially tells legislators not to do what they are want to do, delay tough spending decisions. It could lower the state's bond rating and cost hundreds of millions over the next few years.
"A credit rating downgrade now would take several years to reverse, and would increase interest costs by several hundred million dollars for bond-financed state capital and transportation budgets and for virtually all local K-12 school district bonds, which are guaranteed by the state," he wrote.