Five bills from 15th District Sen. Jim Honeyford, R-Sunnyside, have been unanimously passed by the Senate in time to meet the March 13 deadline for most bills to be passed out of the body of origin. If signed into law, Honeyford’s bills would help keep energy costs low, itemize state debt-service costs, make employees easier to pay, protect Washington’s waterways from invasive species, and finally update the way irrigation districts finance new projects.
Senate Bill 5132 would clarify the way debt-service costs are reported. The state takes on debt in order to fund about half of the capital-budget projects, like elementary schools and prisons, and Honeyford’s bill would require the itemization of exactly what projects the incurred debt is paying for.
“Our current debt-service appropriation does not identify how much of the debt is being used on each project,” Honeyford said. “We cannot maintain a sustainable budget if we do not know how much debt has been financed for each project.” Continue reading