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Quotes from Gov. Chris Gregoire’s press conference announcing pending budget cuts

Post by Peter Callaghan / The News Tribune on Dec. 15, 2010 at 1:16 pm |
December 15, 2010 2:22 pm

Here are some of the quotes from Gov. Chris Gregoire‘s budget press conference this morning in her conference room in Olympia. (TVW broadcast is embedded above)

“I hate my budget. I hate it because in some places I don’t even think it’s moral. Who would have thought that I would be doing this. It’s just beyond me that I would be the one to do this. That we would find ourselves in this situation.”

“As we’ve gone through weeks and months of sitting in this room, of cutting we’ve had to take a recess because people broke down in tears and had to get away. Bluntly, I was among them. I hate what we’ve had to do.”

On what will happen to those who lose health care and social services:

“Now it’s up to us. It’s up to us as a community…. We’ve cut the safety net. In some places we’ve eliminated it. In some places it’s just thin. So state government can’t do it anymore. It’s up to the non-profits. It’s up to the faith community. It’s up to us. It’s up to our families and our friends and our neighbors. To help out those we know, those we love, those we don’t know, those we’ve just met. That’s the only way to get through this thing.”

On the no-tax message from voters:

“The idea that we wouldn’t spend two cents on a can of pop – after that beverage industry put $16 million into the state of Washington to get us to stop that – I don’t understand that. But the fact of the matter is I got the message. I heard it loud and clear. I honor the voters of the state of Washington.”

On the limits to several cuts she proposed effecting undocumented residents:

“I was going to cut a program, a program that covers kidney dialysis and cancer treatment and then I looked into it. And i found out that if I cut kidney dialysis they’ll die within 48 hours. I can’t do that. There’s a limit to what I’m willing to ”

On budget cuts effecting state workers:

“i would ask you to compare the sacrifices of state employees to any other public sector people. I’ve done it. Our state employees have stepped up, they have sacrificed.”

“I don’t know how we ask them to work their hearts out if I break their backs. There comes a point where they are so demoralized they can’t do the job. I feel we’re at the breaking point.”

On the effect of cuts to Basic Health Care and medical care for undocumented children:

“I cut 27,000 children off health care. We don’t actually think they’re not going to get health care. They’re just going to get it the most expensive way. They’re going to get it by going through the doors of the emergency room. And that isn’t free. Those hospitals pass it along to those of us who have insurance by raising our premiums.”

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