Today I presented a budget proposal that while balanced is unjust.
I am required by law to submit a balanced budget with existing revenue. Because of our continuing economic troubles, state revenue is down and has resulted in a one year revenue shortfall of $2.6 billion. This reduction is on top of a $9 billion deficit that we tackled last year. As a result, I had to make decisions to cut programs and services that will impact all Washingtonians.
Let me be clear – I do not support this budget. Our state budget should reflect our values and priorities as a state. These values include providing quality education for our kids, taking care of the elderly and most vulnerable and protecting public safety. This budget does not reflect my values or the values of the people of our great state.
I am committed to looking at ways to protect services important to you and the citizens of the State. I am reviewing tax exemptions and considering new sources of revenue. In January, I will submit another budget to the Legislature that I believe will be more reflective of our values.
In the coming weeks, I need your help.
You can learn more about the budget and its impacts at my website www.governor.wa.gov. Please talk to your colleagues, your family and your neighbors about the impacts of this budget and the tough choices we are facing. Contact your legislators and let them know that we must keep all options on the table to deal with this crisis.
Thank you for your continued support. Together we will get through this challenging time.