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OFM Issues Impact Statements for Ballot Initiatives

The Office of Financial Management has published its fiscal impact statement for the three initiatives that have qualified for the 2011 election. Here are OFM’s estimates (in-part):

Fiscal Impact Statement for Initiative 1125

“No fiscal impact is assumed for the Tacoma Narrows Bridge and State Route 167 toll lanes. Fiscal impacts for future toll roads and toll bridges are unknown and indeterminate. The State Treasurer states that bonds secured solely by toll revenue will become prohibitively expensive if the Legislature sets tolls, thus eliminating this financing tool for transportation projects. Prohibiting variable tolling will require additional analyses estimated to cost up to $8.3 million. Because the restrictions on future toll revenue, toll expenditures and toll lanes cannot be quantified, the fiscal impact on state and local governments from these provisions is indeterminate.”

Fiscal Impact Statement for Initiative 1163

“Current law requires increased mandatory training, background checks and certification for long-term care workers, depending on worker classification, beginning Jan. 1, 2014. Initiative 1163 would require the training, background checks and certification for long-term care workers to begin Jan. 7, 2012, but delay these requirements for community residential providers until Jan 1, 2016. For the long-term in-home care program, administrative costs are capped and performance audits with additional fraud investigators are required. Over six fiscal years, costs are estimated to increase $31.3 million and revenue from the federal government and fees is estimated to increase $18.4 million.  The Washington State Office of Financial Management, in consultation with the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) and Department of Health (DOH), developed a model to estimate the costs and expenditures of implementing increased mandatory training, background checks and certification for long-term care workers. This model was first developed for the fiscal impact statement for Initiative 1029, passed in 2008, and subsequently used for fiscal notes on legislation, including Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 6180 (2009) and Engrossed Substitute House Bill 1548 (2011). This statement uses this model updated to the June 2011 Caseload Forecast Council forecast (forecast).”

Fiscal Impact Statement for Initiative 1183

“The fiscal impact cannot be precisely estimated because the private market will determine bottle cost and markup for spirits. Using a range of assumptions, total State General Fund revenues increase an estimated $216 million to $253 million and total local revenues increase an estimated $186 million to $227 million, after Liquor Control Board one-time and ongoing expenses, over six fiscal years. A one-time net state revenue gain of $36.4 million is estimated from sale of the state liquor distribution center. One-time debt service costs are $5.3 million. Ongoing new state costs are estimated at $158,600 over six fiscal years.”

Yesterday the Washington Research Council released its own fiscal analysis of I-1183. WRC found:

“Initiative 1183 would end the state monopoly over the liquor sales and distribution system in Washington. Our analysis shows that state and local governments would gain $443 million in additional revenue over six years under the initiative, compared to the current state monopoly baseline.”

The OFM fiscal analysis are conducted in accordance with RCW 29A.72.025:

“The office of financial management, in consultation with the secretary of state, the attorney general, and any other appropriate state or local agency, shall prepare a fiscal impact statement for each of the following state ballot measures: (1) An initiative to the people that is certified to the ballot; (2) an initiative to the legislature that will appear on the ballot; (3) an alternative measure appearing on the ballot that the legislature proposes to an initiative to the legislature; (4) a referendum bill referred to voters by the legislature; and (5) a referendum measure appearing on the ballot. Fiscal impact statements must be written in clear and concise language, avoid legal and technical terms when possible, and be filed with the secretary of state no later than the tenth day of August. Fiscal impact statements may include easily understood graphics.

A fiscal impact statement must describe any projected increase or decrease in revenues, costs, expenditures, or indebtedness that the state or local governments will experience if the ballot measure were approved by state voters. Where appropriate, a fiscal impact statement may include both estimated dollar amounts and a description placing the estimated dollar amounts into context. A fiscal impact statement must include both a summary of not to exceed one hundred words and a more detailed statement that includes the assumptions that were made to develop the fiscal impacts.

Fiscal impact statements must be available online from the secretary of state’s web site and included in the state voters’ pamphlet. Additional information may be posted on the web site of the office of financial management.”

Washington Policy Center will be publishing our own policy analysis for each of the ballot measures in the coming months.

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[Reprinted from the Washington Policy Center blog; photo credit: flickr]

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1 Comment

  1. Wonderful, keep it up thanks.

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