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What’s left: Gregoire’s list

Post by Jordan Schrader / The News Tribune on March 9, 2010 at 11:31 am | 1 Comment »
March 9, 2010 12:50 pm

What has to be done before legislators can go home?

Gov. Chris Gregoire weighed in on that today, outlining a few areas other than the budget that she wants to see finished.

The only one where she dug in her heels is the education-reform bill, an attempt to qualify Washington for federal Race to the Top money.  “That will be an essential piece before anyone goes home,” Gregoire said.

The Senate refused to agree to House changes that would create a new system for distributing state education money to school districts.

Gregoire also said she wants to see efforts to stimulate job growth.

Alluding to a bill aimed at luring data centers to the state, she said lawmakers need to encourage construction jobs in hard-hit eastern Washington.

“These are ready-to-go projects,” Gregoire said of data centers. “And if not here, they’re going to our sister state to the south.”

She wasn’t encouraging about a push to expand the sales tax break to other parts of the state like Pierce County, saying the projects need to go to the parts of the state with the highest unemployment rates.

There’s more work to be done on government reform, Gregoire said, though she’s encouraged by progress on eliminating boards and commissions.

She congratulated lawmakers for sending voters proposed limits on bail and expanding the work that can be done on the new State Route 520 bridge.

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