Letters to the Editor

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BUDGET: Legislators must sacrifice to do job

Letter by Willie A. Painter, Tacoma on Dec. 9, 2011 at 10:28 am | 6 Comments »
December 9, 2011 12:53 pm

Our state’s Legislature has a $1.4 billion budget shortfall to fix. To build a reserve for the state, the governor has asked that the Legislature find a total of $2 billion through reductions and/or revenue.

Each day, our state government spends approximately $41 million. With 63 percent of the state budget constitutionally and/or legally protected from reductions, only $8.7 billion of the budget is available for reduction. A $2 billion reduction represents 23 percent of the $8.7 billion available.

Time is of the essence. Each day that passes, the options and flexibility for reductions available to the Legislature become limited, thereby limiting the chances for the Legislature to make reductions that are truly in the best interest of our state.

I know that decisions that are both tough and urgent still require careful analysis, but I urge our elected officials to show good leadership during this time when good leadership is needed the most.

I would like our Legislators to show a true commitment to the over 6,700,000 residents of our great state that they represent by not taking any days off, even the holidays, until they get the job done.

Good leaders make sacrifices to benefit those they lead. Once elected, being a Legislator is not a privilege and an honor so much as it is a duty.

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