Freedom Foundation urges governor to disclose financial state of the state and take action toward budget recovery


The Kitsap Business Journal

Olympia, WA - In a letter hand-delivered to the governor’s office, the Evergreen Freedom Foundation urged Gov. Christine Gregoire to take serious action in confronting the state’s projected $5.7 billion budget deficit.

The letter, written by Freedom Foundation founder and Senior Fellow Bob Williams and Economic Policy Director Amber Gunn, implores the governor to transparently communicate the true nature of the state’s fiscal crisis with lawmakers and citizens, and then take the necessary steps to bring spending in line with revenue.

The letter points out the current budget crisis is worse than what the governor and Legislature have described, and that budget fixes outlined in the governor’s draft supplemental budget don’t address the real shortfall between revenue and spending in the current budget.

The letter also offers the governor several ideas for transforming the budget. These ideas include thoroughly examining state spending, which increased $4.2 billion last year; calling a special session and asking legislators to reduce the budget by $2.34 billion; and calling on agencies to update their priorities of government assessments.

The letter also requests that Gov. Gregoire consider ideas such as reinstating Initiative 601; analyzing programs on an outcome basis; requiring teachers and state employees to pay for 28 percent of their health care; freezing STEP increases; and eliminating all state agencies, boards and commissions that aren’t core functions of government.

“There is no shortage of ideas about how to solve Washington’s budget problem, but there is a shortage of courage,” Gunn said. “We don’t need another commission or task force to brainstorm about ‘what’ to do. We need people who have the courage to start actually fixing the problem.”

Copy of letter to Gov. Gregoire can be found at: