Lawmaker: State may have to tap 'rainy day fund' to make ends meet - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Lawmaker: State may have to tap 'rainy day fund' to make ends meet

OLYMPIA, Wash. - A key state lawmaker says the Legislature probably will tap the "rainy day fund" next year to close a budget gap between expected revenue and planned spending.

Senate Ways and Means Chairwoman Margarita Prentice of Renton says, "It's pretty clear that things are not going to get better soon."

The shortfall by the middle of 2011 could be $2.7 billion. Lawmakers will have a better outlook tomorrow when the state Revenue Forecast Council meets.

The rainy day Budget Stabilization Account was created last year when voters amended the state constitution to put 1 percent of general tax collections in the fund each year. It will have an estimated $728 million to tap.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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