Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas comes early for reformers

After watching the Legislature play the "Grinch that Stole the Balanced Budget" earlier this week it was encouraging to open an early Christmas present offered by the Governor today. At a press conference this morning in Olympia Governor Gregoire unveiled several reform initiatives. Among them . . . READ MORE

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Legislature sets stage for 2012 Special Session(s)

Unless state lawmakers know something we don't about an economic revival on the verge of sweeping Europe, today's quick exit from Olympia without actually balancing the state's budget sets the stage for the legislative budget can-kicking to continue deep into 2012 . . . READ MORE

Monday, December 12, 2011

Response to concerns about enhanced budget cutting authority for Governor

With the Legislature consistently showing itself willing to wait to the last moment to bring the state's budget into balance, Washington Policy Center has proposed changing the Governor's current across-the-board authority to respond to a deficit to discretionary authority to make surgical reductions to enact timely savings . . . READ MORE

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Governor should force Legislature to act on budget

We’ve seen this song and dance before. It looks like the Legislature is going to do the same thing it did last year – partial cuts and then likely wait till the last moment to balance the budget (perhaps requiring another special session next year). This despite the Governor giving lawmakers months of advance notice and a list of possible budget solutions. The Governor should raise the stakes to ensure the budget is actually balanced in early January . . . READ MORE

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Legislative foot-dragging on budget makes case for giving governor enhanced budget tools

It's true that it takes time to make thoughtful decisions on reducing a $32 billion state budget. It's also true that lawmakers have known since this summer that the Governor would be calling a special session to balance the budget. Yet despite knowing what is required, the sense of urgency on display in Olympia right now is wanting, to say the least. The Governor could have helped provide extra incentive for lawmakers to act by also ordering date certain across-the-board cuts that would take effect unless the Legislature balanced the budget itself or provided the Governor the tools to do so . . . READ MORE