Gregoire's supplemental budget would cut 390 jobs

Staff writerDecember 17, 2010 

Gregoire lays out massive budget cuts

Gov. Chris Gregoire talks about her budget plan as she stands next to a chart showing the state's projected budget deficit at the Capitol in Olympia, Washington. (AP File Photo)


Details will be emerging, but Gov. Chris Gregoire's budget office has released its proposed supplemental budget to close the remainder of a $1.1 billion budget deficit through June. It hastens the end for the Basic Health Plan and the Disability Lifeline's cash grants and medical programs that already face elimination in Gregoire’s two-year budget announced earlier this week to close a $4.6 billion two-year shortfall.

And it also shifts payment of about $253 million of funds for public school districts from June to July 1, in effect buying a "25th month" of revenue for the ongoing two-year budget cycle that ends June 30. It also eliminates the equivalent of 390 more full-time equivalent jobs, mostly in human services.

Lawmakers rejected the 25th month budgeting idea as a gimmick going into their one-day special session on Saturday. But the bipartisan budget deal still left a gap of more than $400 million yet to solve. And Gregoire's proposal leaves $98.6 million reserves, largely because of the funding shift.

Go here for the budget overview, here for Gregoire’s news release, here, and here for links to details in the plan.

Go here and here for some of our pieces on Gregoire's two-year budget plan, here for more links to its details, and here for a look at what happens to state employees under Gregoire's two-year budget.

Gregoire already is ordering about $110 million in across-the-board spending cuts through June, and the Legislature voted last Saturday to close another $588 million of the gap.

Over the next six months, Gregoire wants legislative authority to cut $42.1 million in class-size reduction money for the kindergarten-to-fourth-grade classes in public schools that had been appropriated in previous budgets, as well as $18 million in levy aid to tax-poor public-school districts, and shifting $253 million in aid to schools to July 1.

Stay tuned.

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