Washington amended its statutory code in 1993 to limit the growth of expenditures to the growth of population and inflation.
CHAPTER 42.135 - STATE EXPENDITURES LIMITATIONSRCW 43.135.010 Findings -- Intent.
The people of the state of Washington hereby find and declare:
(1) The continuing increases in our state tax burden and the corresponding growth of state government is contrary to the interest of the people of the state of Washington.
(2) It is necessary to limit the rate of growth of state government while assuring adequate funding of essential services, including basic education as defined by the legislature.
(3) The current budgetary system in the state of Washington lacks stability. The system encourages crisis budgeting and results in cutbacks during lean years and overspending during surplus years.
(4) It is therefore the intent of this chapter to:
(a) Establish a limit on state expenditures that will assure that the growth rate of state expenditures does not exceed the growth rate of inflation and state population;
(b) Assure that local governments are provided funds adequate to render those services deemed essential by their citizens;
(c) Assure that the state does not impose responsibility on local governments for new programs or increased levels of service under existing programs unless the costs thereof are paid by the state;
(d) Provide for adjustment of the limit when costs of a program are transferred between the state and another political entity;
(e) Establish a procedure for exceeding this limit in emergency situations;
(f) Provide for voter approval of tax increases; and
(g) Avoid overfunding and underfunding state programs by providing stability, consistency, and long-range planning.
[1994 c 2 § 1 (Initiative Measure No. 601, approved November 2, 1993); 1980 c 1 § 1 (Initiative Measure No. 62, approved November 6, 1979).]
RCW 43.135.025 General fund expenditure limit -- Computation -- Annual limit adjustment -- Definitions -- Emergency exception -- State treasurer duty, penalty.
(1) The state shall not expend from the general fund during any fiscal year state moneys in excess of the state expenditure limit established under this chapter.
(2) Except pursuant to a declaration of emergency under RCW 43.135.035 or pursuant to an appropriation under RCW 43.135.045(4)(b), the state treasurer shall not issue or redeem any check, warrant, or voucher that will result in a state general fund expenditure for any fiscal year in excess of the state expenditure limit established under this chapter. A violation of this subsection constitutes a violation of RCW 43.88.290 and shall subject the state treasurer to the penalties provided in RCW 43.88.300.
(3) The state expenditure limit for any fiscal year shall be the previous fiscal year's state expenditure limit increased by a percentage rate that equals the fiscal growth factor.
(4) For purposes of computing the state expenditure limit for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 1995, the phrase "the previous fiscal year's state expenditure limit" means the total state expenditures from the state general fund, not including federal funds, for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 1989, plus the fiscal growth factor. This calculation is then computed for the state expenditure limit for fiscal years 1992, 1993, 1994, and 1995, and as required under RCW 43.135.035(4).
(5) Each November, the office of financial management shall adjust the expenditure limit for the preceding fiscal year based on actual expenditures and known changes in the fiscal growth factor and then project an expenditure limit for the next two fiscal years. The office of financial management shall notify the legislative fiscal committees of all adjustments to the state expenditure limit and projections of future expenditure limits.
(6) "Fiscal growth factor" means the average of the sum of inflation and population change for each of the prior three fiscal years.
(7) "Inflation" means the percentage change in the implicit price deflator for the United States for each fiscal year as published by the federal bureau of labor statistics.
(8) "Population change" means the percentage change in state population for each fiscal year as reported by the office of financial management.
[1994 c 2 § 2 (Initiative Measure No. 601, approved November 2, 1993).]
-- THE WASHINGTON CODE
Washington amended its statutory code in 1993 to require a 2/3 vote of the Legislature to increase taxes that raise revenue below the expenditure limit. Tax increases that raise revenue above the expenditure limit require voter approval.
CHAPTER 42.135 - STATE EXPENDITURES LIMITATIONSRCW 43.135.035
(1) After July 1, 1995, any action or combination of actions by the legislature that raises state revenue or requires revenue-neutral tax shifts may be taken only if approved by a two-thirds vote of each house, and then only if state expenditures in any fiscal year, including the new revenue, will not exceed the state expenditure limits established under this chapter.
(2)(a) If the legislative action under subsection (1) of this section will result in expenditures in excess of the state expenditure limit, then the action of the legislature shall not take effect until approved by a vote of the people at a November general election. The office of financial management shall adjust the state expenditure limit by the amount of additional revenue approved by the voters under this section. This adjustment shall not exceed the amount of revenue generated by the legislative action during the first full fiscal year in which it is in effect. The state expenditure limit shall be adjusted downward upon expiration or repeal of the legislative action.
(b) The ballot title for any vote of the people required under this section shall be substantially as follows:
"Shall taxes be imposed on . . . . . . . in order to allow a spending increase above last year's authorized spending adjusted for inflation and population increases?"
(3)(a) The state expenditure limit may be exceeded upon declaration of an emergency for a period not to exceed twenty-four months by a law approved by a two-thirds vote of each house of the legislature and signed by the governor. The law shall set forth the nature of the emergency, which is limited to natural disasters that require immediate government action to alleviate human suffering and provide humanitarian assistance. The state expenditure limit may be exceeded for no more than twenty-four months following the declaration of the emergency and only for the purposes contained in the emergency declaration.
(b) Additional taxes required for an emergency under this section may be imposed only until thirty days following the next general election, unless an extension is approved at that general election. The additional taxes shall expire upon expiration of the declaration of emergency. The legislature shall not impose additional taxes for emergency purposes under this subsection unless funds in the education construction fund have been exhausted.
(c) The state or any political subdivision of the state shall not impose any tax on intangible property listed in RCW 84.36.070 as that statute exists on January 1, 1993.
(4) If the cost of any state program or function is shifted from the state general fund on or after January 1, 1993, to another source of funding, or if moneys are transferred from the state general fund to another fund or account, the office of financial management shall lower the state expenditure limit to reflect the shift.
[1994 c 2 § 4 (Initiative Measure No. 601, approved November 2, 1993).]
-- THE WASHINGTON CODE
Created by: Jennifer L. Crull
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