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The governor: ‘I have a demoralized work force’

Post by Cheryl Tucker on Dec. 16, 2010 at 5:14 pm with 9 Comments »
December 16, 2010 5:14 pm

Gov. Chris Gregoire visited with the editorial board today. She wanted to talk about her proposed budget that addresses a $4.6 billion shortfall. In addition to consolidating several state agencies, it makes drastic cuts in education, low-income health care, social services, public safety and state workers’ compensation. In Pierce County, she would shutter the McNeil Island prison and the Washington History Museum. Funding for state parks, the arts commission – gone.

“It’s not a budget I’m proud of. But it’s what the times call for,” she said, noting that it eliminates 80 programs and agencies. She expects legislators will come back in January thinking they’ll be able to save this program or that agency that is important to them or their constituents, but it’s unlikely they’ll be able to.

“They’ll come in with that intention. I would, too. But then they’ll see the stark reality,” she said. Her proposal may be slightly tweaked here and there, but she expects that it ultimately will be the “framework” for the final budget.

She’s fully aware that many of her cuts will have dire consequences, such as more people going to emergency rooms if the Basic Health Plan is eliminated for 60,000 low-income subscribers. She fears that failing to provide early childhood education will eventually manifest in higher crime rates. And she knows her budget means that about 10,000 state workers and teachers will have lost their jobs between 2008 and 2012.

She feels state workers have had to make more sacrifices than other public-sector workers at the local and, particularly, the federal level where, she said, “they’re getting COLAs, bonuses and no raises in health care (premiums).” The hits state workers are taking – in layoffs, furloughs, pay cuts and benefits cost increases – add up, she said. “I have a demoralized work force.”

When I commented that she seemed a little demoralized herself, she paused and said, “I’m not. I am determined. I will see us through this. But I don’t like what I’ve done.”

Leave a comment Comments → 9
  1. tree_guy says:

    “I have a demoralized work force.”

    Well don’t worry sweetheart. There is group of available workers numbering in excess of 300,000 who are energetic and would take the jobs of those demoralized workers. Government workers who wish they never applied for a government job should be careful what they wish for.

  2. Now she knows how the people of the State of Washington feels as she goies about her Obama agenda!

  3. Umm… Sorry Gov. Federal employees and retirees saw their health care premiums rise and currently are under threat of further freezes and pension reductions….
    How much of a cut did the sate Officials including the Gov take?

  4. patewart says:

    You guys should stop complaining because, one the health care we have now isnt as good as it was supposed to be. also the law has just been signed so give it some time. so if u want to say u have the right to choose tell that to ur congress men or state official. If you do not have insurance and need one You can find full medical coverage at the lowest price search online for “Wise Health Insurance” If you have health insurance and do not care about cost just be happy about it and trust me you are not going to loose anything!

  5. blakeshouse says:

    When you consider the multi million dollar surplus this poor excuse for a gov has run thru, padding the union coffers and expanding her socialist regime, it is impossible to take anything this woman says at face value. From the worst attny gen in the state, if not the country’s history, is it any wonder she has failed so miserably. The real wonder is how the people of this state could be so stupid as to elect this female version of Hugo Chauvez. Oh wait, it was the illegal aliens, felons and dead people who got her into power

  6. bobbysangelwife says:

    so….I’m curious….of the people raggin’ on this article and the current Governor….how many of YOU went and voted this past time?
    This Governor won by overwhelming numbers…..sure this state can’t be that ignorant when it comes to looking at stats and numbers,etc.
    I suppose when y’all get tired of losing your jobs, museums that are important and teach something to your children are all closed, there are 50 kids per classroom and the teacher couldn’t possibly point yours out, people are dying and diseased….maybe by then someone will have voted this person out of office and can salvage something of this once great state.
    This country is in decline people….only a matter of time before we self-destruct due to selfishness…

  7. the3rdpigshouse says:

    Cheer up civil servants you still have a job – unlike tens of thousands of other Washingtonians!!! How is all that “Hope” & “Change” working out for the ignorant electorate in Washington these days!

  8. Novelist3 says:

    Bobby- don’t blame me. I voted for Rossi.
    And I’ve found that decision to be more and more correct each and every day.

  9. rags1947 says:

    Give me a break. There are so many other things that could have been cut besides medical care for the poor and disabled, like the Governors salary, and those who are running along behind her yes maming her every step of the way.
    I am quite sure this will be my last Christmas with my children and grand children. I am the only participating parent and grand parent of these children and grand children, but since you don’t care how many of us live or die, I am sure there will be a lot of parents and grand parents who will be gone from their families by next Christmas. What a fine and humane job you are doing as the governor of the State of Washington. I honestly don’t know how you sleep at night or even look at y ourself in the mirror. Just remember, there will come a day when you will have to answer to a higher power than us poor people and I wish I could feel sorry for you, but have more important things to worry about. Like how I am going to survive without medicine.
    I am quite curious as to how many multimillion dollar law suits are going to stem from this.
    Have a great day.

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