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April 6, 2007

What Gregoire wants

Posted by David Postman at 11:23 AM

Gov. Christine Gregoire sent a letter Wednesday to the chairs and vice chairs of the House and Senate budget-writing committees, with copies to Speaker Frank Chopp and Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown, outlining her concerns as the Legislature gets down to final negotiations.

The first thing she mentions is the constitutional rainy day fund. As I wrote this morning, this is a top priority for the governor and in her letter she leaves no doubt about that.

We will not go home without this legislation.

The six-page letter outlines Gregoire's preferences from among her budget proposal and those of the House and Senate. Included among items that Gregoire prefers to see as she proposed late last year are $40 million for three new "professional development days for middle and high school math and science teachers." There are also additional days for other teachers included.
She also wants more funding for DSHS caseworkers and funding for an outreach campaign to expand children's health care. The Senate budget, Gregoire wrote, "proposes expanding coverage to an even greater number of children without the necessary funding for outreach."

Gregoire uses the letter to also make pitches on behalf of other politicians. She said that Congressman Norm Dicks has requested $1.1 million for a Washington Youth Academy, "an alternative school experience for youth at risk of not finishing high school."

And she wants $400,000 to support the state's "aerospace coordinator." The money is needed, she wrote, "in order to maintain and strengthen ties with that sector of the economy." That is listed in the letter as "Priority of Speaker Chopp."

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