Footing the bill for bills
With a $1.5 billion fault line preparing to level any attempts to add costs to the 2010-11 state budget, passing a bill with a large fiscal note could prove a difficult task this spring.
But that won’t stop bills from appearing with fiscal notes. Already, 101 bills have been introduced that carry a fiscal note that include an expenditure increase or reduction and/or a revenue increase or reduction.
Here are the most and least pricey bills suggested so far. All prices apply to 2010-11 and expenditures do not account for revenue adjustments in the bills or vice versa.
BIGGEST EXPENDITURE: Up to $5.1 million could be spent on stabilizing revenue for small school districts for five years if House Bill 1015 passes.
BIGGEST REVENUE INCREASE: House Bill 1190 would raise $33.3 million by suspending a sales tax exemption for fuels used for industrial purposes.
BIGGEST REVENUE DECREASE: House Bill 1162 would reduce revenue by up to $1.2 million by setting a monetary standard for contracts between construction companies and public entities.
REDUCTION: House Bill 1067 would eliminate a cost of $1.8 million from the general fund by reversing the rule that Fort Lewis College must pay 100 percent of the tuition cost for its Native American students (the bill was postponed indefinitely).
CHEAPEST EXPENDITURE: House Bill 1212 asks for just $314 from the highway users tax fund for computer programming and setting rules with county clerks on when a late vehicle registration fine can be lifted.
BIGGEST EXPENDITURE: Senate Bill 68 would spend $966,000 on temporary assistance for needy families.
BIGGEST REVENUE INCREASE: Senate Bill 77 would raise $225,394 plus an additional amount projected to be less than $10,000 from regulating appraisal management companies.
BIGGEST REVENUE DECREASE: Senate Bills 4 and 44 tie for this spot — both bills would reduce revenue by $19.4 million by repealing two late fees for vehicle registration.
REDUCTION: Senate Bill 1 would reduce expenditures by $81,989 by making modifications to PERA accounts.
CHEAPEST EXPENDITURE: Senate bills 4, 44 and 57 all ask just $2,001 from the general fund and $942 from the highway users tax fund in order to reprogram systems to recognize the repeals in each bill of late vehicle registration fine costs.