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Eye On Olympia

Posts tagged: state budget

Meanwhile, in California…

The state budget picture is much, much worse. From the Financial Times:

Once the US’s richest state, California now has the dubious distinction of having the worst credit rating in the country….

California’s fiscal year ends on Wednesday but as the state’s cash reserves are empty, IOUs will be issued to a range of creditors, including contractors, such as information technology companies and the food service groups that cater for prisons.

ALSO: An unrelated tech note. We’ve had some reports of RSS feed problems, which we think we’v now got fixed. If you’re having problems, please shoot me an e-mail.

Combing through the stuffed suggestion box for budget-fixing ideas…

In Thursday morning’s paper:

Think back to the last time you renewed your driver’s license. Do you remember the shoes on the person behind the counter?

Of course not. But here’s a little known fact about those shoes: you probably paid for them.

Washington taxpayers provide a $97-a-year “shoe allowance” for the 330 folks working at more than 60 driver licensing offices across the state. You also pick up the tab for the state-logo-bearing shirts, pants, sweaters, jackets and hats worn by those employees, as well as a $27-a-month stipend for dry cleaning.

Now, with Washington’s government facing an unprecedented $5 billion to $6 billion budget shortfall over the next two years, people, including many state employees, are trying to find new ways to save.

Doing away with the clothing allowance was among the nearly 2,000 ideas submitted over the past few weeks to Gov. Chris Gregoire, who today will release a budget proposal expected to include deep spending cuts.

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Richard Roesler covers Washington state news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Olympia.

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