Posts tagged: budgets
Gov. Chris Gregoire answers a question during a press conference Thursday. Staff photo by Jim Camden
OLYMPIA — Facing a shortfall of $3 billion in the next biennium, the state has to come up with a new way of writing budgets, Gov. Chris Gregoire said today.
She announced a plan to develop a new system that includes public hearings, a 32-member panel of advisers, and the prospect of privatizing major state services like the ferry system.
Gregoire insisted that no state agency will get a free pass in the new system, that will build on the old system known as “priorities of government” by asking eight questions, starting with “Is the activity an essential service?”
If it is, the next question would be whether the state has to perform the service, or can it be provided by someone else.
Various state officials have asked such questions for years, but with varying results. In the last legislative session, for example…
OLYMPIA – There was no drama, but plenty of theatrics, as Gov. Chris Gregoire signed a bill Wednesday making it easier for the Legislature to raise taxes.
Gregoire signed a 16-month suspension of some provisions of Initiative 960 as its prime sponsor Tim Eyman looked on, sometimes with a disapproving frown on his face, at one point holding his nose and pointing one thumb down.
“Now, you must behave,” Gregoire told Eyman at one point.
“I am behaving. This is my self-control,” he replied.
OLYMPIA — House and Senate Republican leaders denounced budgets proposals from the other party for raising taxes that will touch everyone and hurt small businesses.
Sen. Joe Zarelli, of Ridgefield, the GOP’s top numbers guy in the Legislature, said the wide array of potential tax increases would hit car buyers and home buyers, both of which are needed to fuel the recovery.
They would create imbalances for communities that border another state, encouraging people to drive across state lines to buy gasoline, candy, soda or bottled water, and discourage out of state residents from shopping in Washington, he said during a sit-down session GOP leaders had with the news media.
That’s a conglomeration of tax proposals from Gov. Chris Gregoire and Senate Democrats. The two proposals differ significantly in which taxes they’d raise or institute in an attempt to balance some program cuts with new sources of money. As of noon, the House had yet to announce a tax package to explain how it would raise an extra $857 million.
Rep. Gary Alexander, the top Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee wondered how the panel will hold hearings on a budget that doesn’t spell out taxes. “We don’t even know what the “Means” are.”