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Posts published in “Day: May 26, 2011”

WA: Special session is over

It had looked a little iffy, but the special session is over.

The take from Governor Chris Gregoire:

“We’ll walk away from this session with a stronger sense of partnership and cooperation – as well as a balanced budget that ensures we have the financial resources to provide core services now and into the future. And we developed that balanced budget with no new revenue, with no short-term fixes and with no budget gimmicks. We did it by tackling long term costs, by making government leaner and more efficient and by implementing innovative reforms that ensure the state can continue to provide critical services like health care, education and public safety.

“Additionally, we passed major legislation to spur job creation and strengthen our economic recovery. At the state level, we passed a transportation budget that will put 30,000 people to work. Our capital budget sustains another 15,000 jobs. And we passed major reforms to give our businesses the confidence they need to start hiring again – including significant changes to our workers compensation system, and a reduction in unemployment insurance rates. To help our families during these tough times, we provided a temporary increase in unemployment benefits to 70,000 Washingtonians.

“Along with the many needed changes, we also made cuts that will touch real lives. The decisions we made required deep, painful reductions to programs in every area. Some were eliminated entirely."

You get the feeling this one may wind up having more impact that most, though what the political impact is may be hard to tell, since Republicans were deeply involved in the process.