Raiding state’s rainy-day fund is ‘stupid but not unconstitutional’

State Sen. Phil Fortunato is disappointed that Gov. Jay Inslee’s supplemental budget proposal seeks to raid the state’s constitutional rainy-day fund to the tune of over $300 million. Fortunato, R-Auburn made this statement regarding how the governor’s proposal could leave Washington vulnerable in the event of an economic downturn.

“In 2018 the state had a significant surplus yet the Legislature’s new Democrat majority diverted $700 million from the Budget Stabilization Account,” said Fortunato. “The state treasurer pleaded with them to not set that ‘dangerous precedent.’ Now Inslee wants to tap the savings account even more. It’s like the brother-in-law who borrows $700 million and says he’ll pay you back by borrowing another $300 million. When will the taxpayers get their billion dollars back?

“The rainy-day fund is supposed to be safeguarded in the event of an emergency or economic downturn.  Even though the state’s coffers are bursting at the seams with taxpayer money, due in large part to federal tax cuts and deregulation, the governor want to break the piggy bank and spend even more? It is, to quote Justice Scalia, stupid but not unconstitutional. When is enough, enough?

“The reality is the state’s budget is so bloated that even the sizable reserves in the treasury won’t last long in the event of a downturn. For that reason, withdrawing anything is a wrong move. We need smart policies to address our state’s homelessness situation, not the governor’s approach of throwing more good money after bad.”