Eye On Olympia

Gregoire to state agencies: Must…save…more…

Calling for "an immediate, firm and direct response," the governor's budget director, Victor Moore, today called for $260 million more in state budget cuts.

Now.

Among the new cuts: another $4.5 million from Washington State University and $1 million from Eastern Washington University. The Department of Social and Health Services will have to cut nearly $181 million from its $4.6 billion budget.

"You should aim to cut or save from your remaining FY 2009 General Fund appropriations as indicated on the attached list," Moore wrote this morning to state agencies, college presidents and others. "I want to clarify that this is in addition to cuts you made in August and October."

Find more efficiencies, he told them. "Continue to pull back on new programs not yet fully implemented." And scale back current programs and activities that aren't top priorities.

The cuts work out to about 6.2 percent of the state agencies' money for the rest of the year, and 3 percent to 3.5 percent for higher education.

And this is just to balance the budget in the remaining 7 months of this fiscal year. Further cuts will undoubtedly come for the $4.6 billion -- or more -- to be pared from the budget over the next two years.

"Thank you again," Moore closes, "for all of your efforts during these challenging economic times."




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