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Gregoire Talks State Budget With PubliCola
By Josh Feit, Wednesday, August 4, 2010 at 12:07 PM
PubliCola interviewed Gov. Chris Gregoire this morning after the news that U.S. Sen. Patty Murray pulled a deus ex machina and secured $338 million in Medicaid money for the state budget—and $205 million for teachers salaries. (The budget items were paid for with offsets.)
Gregoire explained that given the limp receipts for June ($85 million shy) and the fact that the current 2009-2011 state budget relied on $480 million in Medicaid money, the ending fund balance is “getting pretty narrow.” (The education dollars don’t help the general fund because they are dedicated for the separate education budget.)
Gregoire told PubliCola she’s now waiting for the next round of receipts before ruling out more cuts. “I don’t see it getting better,” she said.
The ending fund balance, originally at $253 million, is now down to about $25 million. “We’re teetering pretty close,” says Glenn Kuper, spokesman for the state Office of Financial Management. “We’re not out of the woods yet.”
Without the Murray money, though, the state budget would have been in the red by over $300 million.
We also asked Gregoire about the public budget forums she’s holding around the state. Was she getting any ideas on how to deal with the projected $3 billion shortfall for the 2011-2013 biennium?
“There’s no consensus among the public,” she says. “One individual will come up to the mike and say ‘whatever you do not raise new revenue.’ Then the next person will take the mike on the other side of the room and say ‘whatever you do do not cut human services.’”
Gregoire says the bipartisan panel she’s appointed to help her with the budget process are “a little concerned.”
“Has the public given me a bold idea to restructure our budget? Not so far.”
Gregoire: No special session or cuts this month
Gov. Chris Gregoire said Wednesday she won't need to immediately make across-the-board cuts to state programs or call a special session in light of the likely approval of additional federal dollars for cash-strapped states.
fresh out of American flags?
Blogger plans "Burn a Confederate Flag Day"
By JAMIE GRISWOLD
An eastern Washington man wants others to join him for "Burn a Confederate Flag Day" on September 12th.
The liberal blogger says he plans to wear a clown outfit and carry a singed confederate flag to a tea party gathering on September 12th.
The man hopes that his burning of the flag will incite conversations with other attendees about race. "I'll take a partially burned flag, probably dress up as a clown and have a discussion about race with some of these people."
"I think that a lot of the rhetoric that they [the tea party] are driven by is racist. You go back and you look at how the Obama presidency has been attacked since the beginning, since before the beginning. There's been a conscious effort to portray all black people as subversive and traitorous to this country, and radical, and tie this to Obama," says the blogger, that asked to be identified as General J.C. Christian.
Listen to General J.C. Christian on Dave Ross
Christian says the demonstration is not meant just to anger people.
"It's meant to draw out a discussion about racism in this country and especially the racism that seems to me to be politically motivated. There seems to be an effort to raise racial animosity in this country right now."
Christian urges those considering following suit not burn the flag at the demonstration, but just to carry a flag they've already burned, to avoid legal trouble.
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