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Spin Control

Posts tagged: Cary Condotta

Spec Sess Day8: Wenatchee PFD bailout passes

OLYMPIA — The House passed a bill that would loan a troubled public facilities district $42 million to avoid default, but only after limiting the way cities and counties involved can raise taxes.

On a 56-33 bipartisan vote, the House passed HB 2145, which would help the Wenatchee Public Facilities District repay investors after it defaulted on short-term bonds on Dec. 1. The money would be paid back to the state over 10 years, starting in 2013, and the cities and counties involved could raise local sales taxes by as much as two-tenths of a percent to cover the loan payments to the state.

But a change just before the bill came to a vote did not sit well with Rep. Mike Armstrong, R-Wenatchee, one of the bill's original sponsors. The original bill said taxes could be raised by a vote of the local legislative body or the voters. The amendment allows a tax increase onlly if voters approve it.

“This takes us down the slope to total bond default,” Armstrong said, and voted no.

The bill's two other sponsors, however, Rep. Cary Condotta, R-East Wenatchee, and Ross Hunter, D-Medina, voted yes.

Officials at the Spokane Public Facilities District say they are watching progress of the Wenatchee PFD bailout closely, because Spokane is scheduled to sell bonds on Dec. 13 in an effort to cut costs by refinancing at a lower interest rate.

The Spokane-area delegation's vote can be found inside the blog. 

The bill now goes to the Senate, where Democrats and Republicans are said to be divided over a bailout to the PFD.

What’s the state wholesale liquor system worth?

OLYMPIA – Washington officials are trying to come up with a way to decide whether it makes good economic sense to let someone else run wholesale liquor operations in the state.

About the time they’re ready to make that decision, the voters might take it out of their hands, and turn all liquor operations – wholesale, distribution and retail sales – over to private businesses.

But if voters reject Initiative 1183 in November, the state could still turn its warehousing and distribution system over to the highest bidder next year. Then the question becomes, how do state officials decide the best deal for the state?

A special committee formed by the Legislature wrestled with a way to answer that question Tuesday ….

To read the rest of this story, click here to go inside the blog.

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

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