We are in very, very bad shape. Is bankruptcy far behind?
Brian Sonntag is my one guaranteed vote.
We are in horrible financial shape in this state, and yes, the democrats, who in one form or another, have been in charge of this state's government since 1984, are the ones directly at fault.
State’s Unfunded Liabilities are Whopping $24.1 Billion, Says State Auditor – Pension Problems are Just the Start
Report Cites Huge Troubles With College-Tuition Program, Retiree Benefits and Lawsuit Fund
State Auditor Brian Sonntag.
By Erik Smith
Staff writer/ Washington State Wire
OLYMPIA, Dec. 23.—Maybe you’ve heard about the big problems with the state-employee pension system? Well, get set for a shock. Turns out those are just the start.
A new report from the state auditor’s office says Washington’s unfunded liabilities are an
eye-popping $24.1 billion. And while some of that may not be cause for alarm, the report points to some great big holes in accounts the state has established to take care of long-term expenses. Simply put, the Legislature hasn’t been setting aside enough money over the years, and recession has only made the problem worse.
Among other things, there’s a quarter-billion-dollar deficit in an account set up to provide college tuition for Washington children. The state’s risk-management fund, which pays to settle lawsuits, is about $600 million short of the amount required to cover future estimated payouts. There’s a nearly $4 billion unfunded liability in a program that provides benefits for retired workers. And there are some worrisome trends in the state worker-compensation system, including a pay-as-you-go liability to cover the future costs of pensions for disabled workers that has now reached $12 billion.
There’s a great big bill coming, says state auditor Brian Sonntag, and one way or another, the state’s taxpayers ultimately are on the hook.
“A lot of these things get talked about, one at a time, but when you put ‘em all together, you can see what it means,” he said. “It’s going to take a lot of work to get our house back in order.”
A Parade of ‘Red Flags’
The figures come from the state’s comprehensive annual financial report, a big fat compendium of numbers that normally is read mainly by people on Wall Street. It should be noted that the bond-rating houses continue to give Washington a high rating. So taxpayers in this state don’t have to worry about the junk-bond rates that force California residents to spend hundreds of millions of dollars in additional interest charges every year.
Will the next legislature have the testicular fortitude to do what has to be done?
Is the governor capable of understanding that, no, teachers and state employees have NOT "sacrificed enough;" THEY must now sacrifice much, much, more... since the legislature was neatly tied up in a well-deserved Eyman Knot this passed November.
Cuts, legislators. And cuts in pay and benefits is where its going to start.
It may also mean bankruptcy. But that's a cost I'm willing to bear.