Washington Legislative Week in Review

At the conclusion of their 60-day regular session last Thursday evening, Governor Jay Inslee immediately called lawmakers into a special session to finish work on a supplemental budget.

Then, following up on his threat to veto bills if the legislature didn’t finish their work on time, the Governor vetoed 27 measures, including one (Senate Bill 5265) which would have allowed banks that serve as public depositaries to arrange for reciprocal deposits of public funds and avoid traditional collateralization requirements.

Lawmakers now have a 30-day special session to reach an agreement on a supplemental budget.

Supplemental Operating Budget

Both the House and Senate budget proposals include a sweep of $5 million from the DFI’s Financial Services Regulation Fund. The Association continues to strongly oppose the sweeping of DFI reserves as it could affect the operations of the Division of Credit Unions. While the DFI has stated that they do not expect the proposed sweep to impact credit unions’ assessments, it is poor public policy.

Beyond our overall opposition to ongoing sweeps of DFI reserves, our more immediate concern is in the Senate’s specific proposal for this sweep. The House proposal transfers $5 million from DFI to the General Fund, while the Senate appropriates $5 million out of the fund to the Department of Revenue. By appropriating funds out of the account in this manner, the Senate’s approach would by definition become a tax, rather than a transfer of fees. We have grave concerns about this approach and the precedent it would set and are working diligently to ensure the Senate’s proposal does not move forward.

The Days Ahead

House and Senate budget writers will continue to meet and negotiate daily and call back the entire legislature when it’s time to vote. Hopefully that can be accomplished quickly.

Questions about this story? Contact Lynn Heider: 503.350.2225, lheider@nwcua.org.

Posted in Advocacy News, NWCUA.