Wash. fears broad impact of possible arena default

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- Washington finance leaders are scrambling to establish a $42 million bailout package to help a Wenatchee-area agency avoid default on the city's arena.

State officials fear that a failure to pay the dues could have a radiating impact on the rest of the state and make it more difficult for local governments to borrow money. Assistant state treasurer Wolfgang Opitz says it's possible a default could also impact the state's credit rating.

The Office of the State Treasurer is currently working on a proposal to make a crucial bond payment on Dec. 1 and allow local governments around Wenatchee to pay the state back over time. Lawmakers would have to rush the measure through the Legislature in the opening days of a special session later this month.