Wenatchee bailout plan could seize local funds



OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The state House is moving ahead with a plan to pull a Wenatchee-area agency from default and seize tax dollars if local jurisdictions fail to repay the dues.

The 56-33 vote on Monday came after lawmakers approved an amendment that would require a public vote on any tax increases in the local jurisdictions.

Republican Rep. Mike Armstrong of Wenatchee says it will be difficult for local officials to secure voter approval of the taxes, and he believes the terms of the rescue plan are too onerous. Democratic Rep. Ross Hunter says the plan makes it clear to bond markets that officials will make good on debts.

State leaders have feared that the default would make it more difficult for local governments in Washington to borrow money.