OLYMPIA, Wash. – Legislative leaders say that they will look at alternatives to Gov. Chris Gregoire's proposed eliminations of state-funded health care for the poor and assistance for the disabled.
But Gregoire says the state's budget is in such bad shape that there aren't many options left to cut in the budget.
When the 2011 legislative session begins next week, lawmakers will be tasked to patch a projected $4.6 billion deficit. Last month, Gregoire unveiled an all-cuts budget that eliminated the state's Basic Health and Disability Lifeline programs for a cut of more than $550 million.
On Tuesday, House Speaker Frank Chopp, D-Seattle, said that lawmakers will seek reforms within the programs to shave off costs, instead of completely cutting them.
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Gregoire says there are programs the state can't afford anymore, such as health care coverage for the poor.