From the Governor’s Office

This is the final group session from Tuesday’s legislative preview, put on by the Associated Press.

Marty Brown from the governor’s office says the number one priority for this legislative session is to get the Legislature out on time. It doesn’t get cheaper as it goes longer, he said.

By the way, he said bloggers went crazy yesterday, that neither he nor Victor (Moore? That’s what I’ll call him.) (seated next to him) will be Commerce Secretary. As noted elsewhere, the governor is in Iraq.

Victor Moore is the governor’s budget director. Marty Brown is the governor’s legislative director.

Moore said fed money should be fairly “unencumbered.”

Brown said transportation money coming from federal government is a known practice. It’s the capital money for things like schools where the state doesn’t really know what to assume in terms of process.

Question about what happens if feds approve tax cut first, then wait for economic stimulus package. Brown said state can’t count increase until it comes. Gov’s office did speak with feds to come up with budget projections. Can do projects with state money as soon as possible.

Question about whether there are proposed regulatory changes to make it easier. Brown said Obama Administration has made it clear that it’s a use-it-or-lose-it program, that projects have to be ready to go. State is looking to see if there are ways to speed up permitting process.

Viaduct. Governor and Seattle mayor have a meeting next week. “It’s not in Iraq,” Brown said. It’s no less contentious than it was a year ago. Goal is to get proposal early in the session.

Moore said making policy changes in extraordinary times is difficult. It was a scramble to find one-time fixes. One question was about whether the governor would accept keeping some programs if it could be shown less money would be spent. Brown said governor wouldn’t dismiss it out of hand, but it would be interesting to see how someone could arrive at that.

Governor has had one briefing on ferries since latest long-term options were published. Not sure economic stimulus money could be spent on new ferries. Bigger question, Moore and Brown agreed, was long-term structural operations of the ferry system. Perhaps money could be used to speed up boat building, but if money isn’t there to run the system it’s not worth building the new boat.

Revenue collections for December? “Not up,” said Moore. This doesn’t reflect Christmas collections. February will be better read on holiday. “Thirty, forty million dollars a month ends up being real dough,” Moore said.

One more entry to come.

One thought on “From the Governor’s Office

  1. The first priority is “to get out on time”?!?!?!?!?!

    Pathetic and selfish statement.

    Kathryn Simpson

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