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Published on Friday, February 15, 2013

Local government fiscal health review and response

On Tuesday, February 19, the House Local Government Committee will hear a proposal by the Washington State Treasurer related to local government fiscal health. HB 1828 and its companion, SB 5690, establish a Local Government Fiscal Health Commission.

The commission would be required to monitor, track, and research factors that cause local government fiscal stress. If the commission identifies a local government that is likely to face fiscal stress, the commission may offer resources and support and work with the local government to create a financial and management plan. The local government is not obligated to accept the commission’s assistance.

The proposal also allows a local government to request a preliminary review of financial conditions from the commission. If the commission agrees to conduct a review and finds fiscal stress, the commission can appoint a three-person committee of finance experts to conduct a thorough review.

The nine-member commission would comprise the state treasurer, the state auditor, one city elected official, one county elected city official, a city or county manager, MRSC’s executive director, and three members appointed by the Governor.

AWC is supportive of a voluntary mechanism for cities to receive assistance, and we would appreciate any city feedback on this proposal. Please send your comments to Victoria Lincoln or Serena Dolly.

Categories: Budget & finance