Wash. panel gives early approval of $42M bailout



OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — A panel of state lawmakers has given early approval to a $42 million bailout package that would prevent a Wenatchee-area agency from defaulting on arena debt.

The measure passed 18-7 in a committee vote Monday night after lawmakers voiced plenty of reluctance about the plan. State officials fear that a default will ripple across the state and make it more difficult for similar agencies to borrow.

The proposal that lawmakers are eyeing would use a state-managed fund for local taxes to make a key bond payment on Thursday and allow local jurisdictions to pay back over time. It would not impact the state budget.

The Greater Wenatchee Regional Events Center Public Facilities District has been unable to pay off short-term debt for the Town Toyota Center arena.