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Published on Monday, November 13, 2017

"State bank" task force to produce report by the end of the year

The 2017 Legislature established a task force on public infrastructure and a publicly-owned depository to explore the scope of financial needs for local governments for constructing public infrastructure and to examine the feasibility of creating a publicly-owned depository, i.e. “state bank.” The goal of the bank would be to facilitate investment in, and financing of, public infrastructure systems that will increase public health and safety, and leverage the financial capital and resources of Washington State by working in partnership with financial institutions that benefit local communities, or with community-based organizations, economic development organizations, local governments, guaranty agencies, and other stakeholder groups to create jobs and economic opportunities within our state for public benefit.

Over the course of the last month the task force has met a number of times to begin its work on the issue. Unfortunately, AWC was not given a seat on the task force, but we were given the opportunity to present at its October 31 meeting. In our presentation, AWC provided an overview of the various types of infrastructure cities are responsible for, and discussed the challenges we’ve faced in securing and maintaining infrastructure with, and without, rate bases. AWC is very open to the concept of finding new ways in which to finance public infrastructure, but we caution any new program must have assurances local revenues and deposits are safe from future state raids.

As the task force continues to meet and explore funding options, AWC will remain an active participant in discussions and continue to provide updates on its progress. A report including recommendations is due to the Legislature by December 1, 2017.

Categories: Infrastructure