A proposed constitutional amendment on the Nov. 3 ballot in the state of Washington seeks to gain voter approval for public money held in a fund for long-term care services and supports to be invested by the state government, including in private stocks.

The constitution for the state of Washington prohibits investing most public money into private companies. Last year, however, the legislature enacted a law implementing state-sponsored long-term care benefits, driven by an employee payroll deduction beginning Jan. 1, 2022. The premiums will be deposited into a new Long-Term Services and Supports Trust Account. Under current law, money held in this account could not be invested in stocks. 

Those in favor of the proposed amendment say it will help ensure the trust fund can pay benefits to eligible Washington residents over the long term. Opponents say that given the uncertainty of the long-term economic effects of COVID-19, a better idea would be to invest public money into federal, state and municipal bonds that support public works, which they deem as safer than the stock market.