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 Gregoires 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 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.