All eyes are on Gregoire’s veto pen today as she signs budget-balancing bills and the so-called reform bills Republicans wanted in exchange for their budget help.
The governor has promised not to veto any parts of the reform bills, which she helped negotiate, but said she would remove some budget items that she hadn’t agreed to. She also wants to eliminate some spending items to leave a larger cushion against future revenue drops.
Two likely vetoes: Gregoire has said she will cancel a $600,000 study of future uses of Rainier School. And Rep. Gary Alexander tells me the governor’s office says she will veto part of his bill HB 2834 that requires governors to review mandates on local governments and periodically propose some to be eliminated or consolidated. Gregoire plans to issue an executive order with the same goal, Alexander said.
Some of the other items that various interests have been urging Gregoire to veto:
- A change in how marina rents are calculated that will help a select few marina owners in Tacoma and the San Juan Islands. Rep. Hans Dunshee asked for a veto after I brought the budget proviso to his attention. So did four marinas with an interconnected web of management or ownership: Elliott Bay Marina in Seattle, and Foss Landing, Delin Docks and Dock Street Marina, all in Tacoma. Interestingly, Foss Landing actually stands to save a bit of money from the proposal. But potential competitors would benefit much more.
- A permanent cut of $10 million from local-government liquor revenues. I wrote about cities’ opposition today.
- A call for the state to design performance-based incentives for rural health providers. The state Hospital Association has urged a veto.
- A shift of money from a fund that pays for piers, docks, boat ramps and other projects. More than 100 boaters have written to ask for a veto.
- The Federation of State Employees is asking Gregoire to veto one of the reform measures, which cuts pension benefits for future workers.
Here are some of the veto letters: