Gov. Chris Gregoire is starting her press conference outlining about $2 billion worth of budget cuts. The list includes a suspension of prescription drugs for adults in Medicaid, ending Basic Health and medical coverage in the Disability Lifeline.
Gregoire also identifies another $2.2 billion in alternative cuts she is rejecting for now. In comments embargoed until the Democratic governor begins speaking, her office quotes here as saying “Washingtonians are going to get a lot less of what they need.’’
Some highlights Gregoire says are likely to be in her November budget rollout:
** “Eliminate the Basic Health Plan, ending subsidized health care to 35,000 low-income individuals.
** “Cut off medical services to 21,000 people enrolled in the state’s Disability Lifeline and ADATSA (Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Treatment Support Act) programs.
** “Trim 15 percent from the support the state provides to colleges and universities.
** “Reduce levy equalization, which helps property poor districts, by 50 percent.
** “Cut the length of supervision for all offenders, based on severity of offense. Sex offenders will be supervised for 24 months, and all other offenders, for 12 months.”
She also would close Rainier School for the developmentally disabled in Buckley and close two wards at Western State Hospital for brain injury and dementia patients.
Options that are not likely to be in her budget include suspension of prescription drug coverage for adult Medicaid clients not hospitalized or in a nursing home; reducing the school year for K-12 students by five days, eliminating school bus subsidies, and eliminating state funds for all-day kindergarten.
Here’s the full list: