There has been a significant amount of budget news over the last two days. Both the Washington State House Democratic Caucus and the Washington State Senate Republican Caucus released responses to Governor Gregoire’s earlier suggestion of budget cuts. The House Democratic Caucus proposal would leave in place the earlier across the board cuts to highly capable funding that the Governor imposed, but would go no further and would not eliminate all funding for FY2011. The Senate Republican Caucus also would not result in any additional cuts to highly capable funding. Representative Alexander also sent a letter to the Governor that argued that whatever cuts are made in a special session, they should not be retroactive. As you might remember, the Governor’s original proposal would have made the elimination of highly capable funding for fiscal year 2011 retroactive to September 1, 2010.
It remains unclear whether there will be enough agreement to justify a special session, though there is mounting pressure for all sides in the discussion to resolve their differences and get something together very quickly. The Seattle Times editorialized yesterday that the Governor’s cuts, including the elimination of highly capable funding, should be adopted immediately. It is essential that you contact your representatives now, before a special session begins. Once a special session begins, it is quite likely that there will already be an agreed upon solution in mind. Your chance to influence your legislators is now.