SEATTLE -- Thursday morning Governor Christine Gregoire will announce how she would cut another $2 billion from the state budget. With the economy showing few signs of recovery, the state budget needs to be trimmed again.
Gov. Gregoire to propose tough budget cuts Thursday
Thursday morning Governor Christine Gregoire will announce how she would cut another $2 billion from the state budget. With the economy showing few signs of recovery, the state budget needs to be trimmed again.
The governor asked every agency to submit a plan to cut another ten percent. She has some discretion, but not much.
These cuts are going to affect thousands. Here's a look at just three people and how their lives could be about to change. It's Geoff Ehrhart's job to show up uninvited.
So he was convicted of second degree murder, said Ehrhart who is a community corrections officer. Had a little slip up, went on a three-day meth-fueled binge, along Aurora Avenue, I was able to track him down.
Ehrhart is a community corrections officer making an unannounced home visit on a man who recently got out of prison for murder. At any time, Ehrhart is monitoring about 40 offenders, but the corrections department is considering eliminating his job and about 500 other officers to save $97 million.
The state would virtually eliminate the idea of community supervision but Ehrhart wonders, if he's not the one dropping in on sex offenders and no one's keeping them in line, how will they transition back into society? It's just one of the tough cuts the governor is considering.
The field mouse was born... said kindergarten teacher Susan Wright.
At more than 200 schools, five-year-olds could find their school days cut in half. The state pays for full-day kindergarten in the poorest districts and that too, could be on the chopping block.
I learn how to count to a hundred, said kindergarten student Riley Chatterson.
Five-year-old Chatterson is one of the lucky ones. He's getting six hours of math, science and English every day. Some schools charge parents for full-day kindergarten, but the principal here says, that's not an option.
They can't afford it, they are not able to fund (a full day of kindergarten). said Camelot Elementary Principal Cindy Dracobly.
Also anxious about budget cuts is Laura Talley who recently got out of a domestic violence situation. the state pays for her anti-depressants, which she credits for getting her life back on track.
I'm up taking care of myself when I have my meds, when I'm not on my meds, I don't want to do anything, said Seattle resident Laura Talley.
$15 to $20 for a prescription may not sound like much but Talley says she just couldn't afford it herself.
It just doesn't make any sense to cut it, I mean, can't you cut something else? said Talley.
There are thousands like Tally who rely on the state for medical care, thousands of five-year-olds whose kindergarten may be cut and thousands of offenders who may be out on their own--all tough choices for the governor Thursday.
Again, these are just some of the possibilities. There are many other cuts on the table like higher education, basic health and early release for prisoners.
The governor will unveil her list Thursday and then lawmakers will convene for a special session in November to start hammering out what survives, and what doesn't.
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