Governor Anticipates ‘Shared Pain’ from Budget

Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire was clear she didn’t like the budget she published last week. I’ve received probably a dozen or more e-mails from different organizations in response to the budget. No one of those liked it either.

In a letter to state workers the governor emphasized again she didn’t like the budget, saying, “This document is not true to the values I believe in and which have guided me through a 30-year career in public service. It’s not a budget I can live with nor is it one I believe Washingtonians can live with.”

Further in the letter (A PDF of which you can get here) her next budget should include funding for the state’s Basic Health and Apple Health plans; the state’s general assistance program; levy equalization; higher ed financial aid; early childhood education; adult medical, dental, vision and hospice programs; and developmental disability and long-term care services.

As for increased revenues Gregoire anticipates the federal government will ante up more for safety net programs, but will also work with the Legislature to find “additional needed revenue.” That first will come from exemptions and loopholes, savings and “we will experience shared pain from this work. While it is evident we cannot cut our way out of this budget dilemma, it is just as certain we cannot tax our way out of it.”

A copy of the letter was given to us by Dr. Bette Hyde, director of the Department of Early Learning, and Earl, executive director of the State Board of Technical and Community Colleges. The two visited with the Kitsap Sun editorial board.

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