How much does that bill cost?

January 15, 2008

Have you ever wondered how much a specific legislative proposal will cost taxpayers? Technically a "fiscal note" is supposed to be available when lawmakers consider legislation to help shine a light on the impact a bill may have on taxpayers. Unfortunately, fiscal notes aren't always available before a bill is passed out of committee.

A bill introduced today, however, would require that any bill with a fiscal impact have a completed fiscal note available before lawmakers could take action. The following is from HB 2682 (addressing fiscal notes):

NEW SECTION. Sec. 4. A new section is added to chapter 43.88A RCW to read as follows: (1) Before either house of the legislature may vote on final passage on a bill that if enacted into law would increase state government expenditures or would increase or decrease state government revenues, a fiscal note prepared pursuant to RCW 43.88A.020 must be available on the most recent version of the bill that applies to the bill as it is to be voted upon. In no case shall the fiscal note be made available more than seventy-two hours after the bill is placed on final passage. (2) The requirement in subsection (1) of this section may be suspended by the applicabl!
e house of the legislature with a vote of sixty percent of the members elected to that house.

Speaking of fiscal notes, the information on tax and fee increases required by I-960 is now available on the Office of Financial Management's website. To sign up for these details click here.