Finance Committee approves Klippert’s new public facilities bill

Measure redrafted to address committee concerns

 Rep. Brad Klippert submitted a new version of his public facilities district bill to the House Finance Committee today after its members expressed concern that the earlier measure's title may be too broad, and result in unintended outcomes. Following a public hearing this morning, the committee unanimously approved Klippert's new legislation.

House Bill 2299 would allow the cities of Pasco, Richland and Kennewick to form a single public facilities district (PFD) to pay for a regional project or projects. A public facilities district allows a city or county government to use a variety of tax options to fund regional facilities. The measure replaces House Bill 1377 that Klippert originally introduced.

Klippert says each of the cities have their own individual PFDs, but a single super PDF would give the municipalities greater financing abilities to construct facilities that could benefit the entire Tri-Cities region.

“This bill simply allows multiple PFDs to form a single overlying PFD, so they can pool their resources and construct a facility that one of them alone could not produce,” Klippert told the committee.

Pasco City Councilman Matt Watkins said the bill would provide a helpful tool for the Tri-Cities for financing of local projects at no cost to the state.

“This is all non-state local funding, if approved by voters. It is a technical fix to allow local communities a needed tool to fulfill the goal of building regional facilities that they wouldn't otherwise be able to build themselves,” said Watkins. “There is consensus in the Tri-Cities that this is a key to our strategic future — to be able to build regional facilities that the public might want.”

Klippert said he is glad that the committee was willing to work with him to accept a new bill that addresses members' concerns, but still would provide the same benefit to the Tri-Cities.

The measure now goes to the House Rules Committee for further consideration.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov