Letters to the Editor

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BUDGET: Are lawmakers breaking the law?

Letter by Willie A. Painter, Tacoma on June 24, 2013 at 12:52 pm with No Comments »
June 24, 2013 12:52 pm

The state Legislature is said to pass a state operating budget any day now. But even if it passes a budget by July 1 to avert partial government shutdown, the lawmaking body – and by extension the legislators that comprise it – have, to the best of my understanding, broken state law. I’m not a lawyer, but it seems to me that the Legislature has committed a criminal offense.

RCW 43.88.080 requires that a budget for state government “shall be finally adopted not later than thirty calendar days prior to the beginning of the ensuing biennium.” RCW 43.88.270 states: “Any officer or employee violating, or willfully refusing or failing to comply with, any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.”

When will charges be filed?

The Legislature can break the law, but like everyone else caught breaking the law, the legislators are not held accountable for their criminal offense.

Lawmakers who break the law are hypocritical and, most certainly, the antithesis of good role-modeling for our state’s future leaders. I love our great state but am embarrassed by our state’s leadership.

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