Washington State Debt Limits Amendment, SJR 8225 (2010)

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Amendments
Washington State Debt Limits Amendment, SJR 8225 was on the November 2, 2010 statewide ballot in Washington as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment where it was approved.[1]

The amendment refined "interest" in the Washington Constitution in order to make State General Obligation Bonds eligible for a new federal subsidy, called "Build America Bonds," and altered the way in which the state’s constitutional debt limit was calculated.[2]

Election results

See also: 2010 ballot measure election results
Washington SJR 8225 (State Debt Limits)
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 1,180,552 52.01%
No1,089,10047.99%

Official results via Washington Secretary of State.

Text of measure

Title

The ballot title read:[3]

Statement of Subject: The legislature has proposed a constitutional amendment concerning the limitation on state debt.
Concise Description: This amendment would require the state to reduce the interest accounted for in calculating the constitutional debt limit, by the amount of federal payments scheduled to be received to offset that interest.
Should this constitutional amendment be: Approved [ ] Rejected [ ]

Constitutional changes

See also: Washington State Debt Limits Amendment (2010), constitutional text changes

The measure amended Article VIII, Section 1 of the Washington Constitution.

Media editorial positions

See also: Endorsements of Washington ballot measures, 2010

Support

  • The Stranger supported the proposed amendment. "This does not change the total debt limit, but allows us to borrow more federal money for important infrastructure projects. Vote to approve," said the editorial board.[4]
  • The Yakima Herald-Republic supported SJR 8225. "This technical change would allow the state to take advantage of a federal program that other states are using. Give it a yes vote," said the editorial board.[5]
  • The Tacoma News Tribune supported the proposed measure. The editorial board said, "Washington taxpayers have already saved $200 million by using Build America Bonds to fund some transportation projects not subject to the debt limit. SJR 8225 is reasonable proposal to adjust the limit to reflect reality and allow the state to save borrowing costs."[6]
  • Publicola supported the proposed measure. "This is a sensible way to increase funding for state infrastructure at no cost to taxpayers," said the editorial board.[7]
  • The Longview Daily News supported SJR 8225. "Approve the constitutional amendment requiring the state to reduce the interest accounted for in calculating the constitutional debt limit, by the amount of federal payments scheduled to be received to offset that interest," said the board.[8]
  • The Wenatchee World was in support. "This is a wise adjustment with broad support, akin to refinancing a mortgage when interest rates drops, without weakening important constitutional protections against overborrowing. Vote yes on SJR 8225," said the board.[9]

Opposition

  • The Kitsap Sun opposed the measure. "Simply put, this adjustment would allow the state to take on more debt. Given the current budget crisis, that’s not a good idea. Vote 'No' on SJR 8225," said the board.[10]

Path to the ballot

See also: How the Washington Constitution is amended

In order to place the measure on the statewide ballot, the measure required at least a two-thirds vote in both the House and the Senate.

See also

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References