February 8, 2007

Debt Authority Bills Clear Initial Hurdle

By Randy Hodgins

Both the House and Senate versions of the University’s legislation to expand local borrowing authority passed their respective fiscal committees this week and are headed to the full chambers of the House and Senate for eventual floor action.

HB 1398 (Fromhold) easily cleared the House Capital Budget Committee on Tuesday by a vote of 21-1.  Rep. Jamie Pederson (D-Seattle) offered an amendment to the bill which removed the requirement that the University maintain at least an “A” bond rating, but added some additional reporting requirements related to the expanded authority granted in the measure.  The amendment passed by a vote of 14-8.

SB 5384 (Fraser) passed the Senate Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday without any changes and was sent to the Senate Rules Committee.  Both versions of the bill are receiving strong support in both chambers and our goal is to try and schedule floor action in the Senate and House within the next several weeks.

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