Governor Locke’s Legacy of Achievement, 1997-2004
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Jobs and Economic Vitality

Provided Boeing significant incentives to build the new 7E7 Dreamliner airplane in Washington. Avoided a general tax increase during severe economic downturn by identifying and funding citizen priorities first (“Priorities of Government”). Reduced business tax burden since 1997 by $1.04 billion to help Washington’s economy. Cut red tape to improve Washington’s business environment and make the state more competitive. Developed and secured passage of state construction budgets that created thousands of family-wage, private-sector jobs. Created economic development tools for rural Washington. Increased international sales of Washington goods and services. Helped dislocated workers retrain and get back to work. Promoted Washington’s emerging technology including biotechnology. » More Economy Accomplishments


K-12: Delivered smaller class sizes and learning assistance to public schools, boosting spending by $480 million this biennium alone compared to the biennium in which the Governor took office. Approved a total of $1.39 billion to build schools since 1997. Created the Washington Reading Corps, the Governor’s Summer Reading Challenge and other reading programs, and provided reading improvement funds. Improved academic achievement and focused assistance to lower-performing schools. Implemented teacher testing, and alternative teacher certification to make it easier for highly qualified citizens to teach in public schools. Increased the number of courses using computers and other high technology to link children with the innovative economy, especially through creation of the Digital Learning Commons. Created the Commission on Early Learning. Provided merit scholarships.

Higher Education: Created Washington Promise Scholarships to provide 12,892 two-year scholarships to date for high-achieving high school students in low- and middle-income families. Increased the number of higher education enrollment slots by more than 17,000 students. Harnessed higher education to help drive economic growth. Launched the Institute of Technology at the University of Washington-Tacoma, and the Advanced Technology Initiative at the University of Washington and Washington State University to invest in cutting-edge research. Expanded technology for better teaching and learning at colleges and universities. » More Education Accomplishments


Increased wild salmon runs through a wide array of tools, including creation of the Salmon Recovery Funding Board, Forests and Fish Agreement, and the unprecedented Washington-Canada Salmon Treaty. Strengthened pipeline safety. Required utilities to provide electricity from renewable sources, and took steps to improve energy supply. Won passage of nation’s first law controlling metals in fertilizers, and enacted law to keep mercury out of the environment. Virtually eliminated burning of grass seed fields. Cut vehicle emissions. Created statewide water management. Won long-term funding for an oil-spill rescue tug. » More Natural Resources Accomplishments

Government Efficiency

Led a new priority-based approach to state budgeting to fund essential services without a general tax increase during severe economic downturn. Streamlined state government regulations and practices to cut red tape. Eliminated scores of boards, commissions and repealed thousands of unnecessary rules. Put state government on the Internet so citizens and businesses can better access state services, and won top national “Digital Government” awards of recognition. Created a savings incentive program to encourage agencies to be more frugal. Won steps to better protect citizen privacy. Secured civil service reform and collective bargaining for state workers. Led a state government that Governing Magazine named among the best managed in the nation. » More Efficiency Accomplishments

Health and Human Services

Cut welfare rolls by 43 percent and helped tens of thousands of recipients find jobs. Created programs to provide less-expensive drugs to elders and the disabled. Revived a dying health insurance market. Won Patients’ Bill of Rights. Protected Basic Health Plan for working families. Created Children’s Health Insurance Program serving children between 200 percent and 250 percent of poverty, who don’t qualify for Medicaid. Protected children from tobacco addiction. Enhanced boarding home quality and safety. Improved community care. » More Health and Human Services Accomplishments

Public Safety

Took significant steps to combat terrorism. Won controls on ex-convicts to promote safe streets. Protected the public from pipeline accidents. Reformed drug sentencing. Strengthened juvenile justice. Improved state crime lab. Improved treatment of mentally ill offenders. Cracked down on drunken drivers. Improved law enforcement training. Won tools to combat domestic violence. Increased protections against sex offenders. » More Public Safety Accomplishments


Won a $4.2 billion transportation-improvement package to rebuild and expand Washington highways and mass transit systems, authorizing spending over 10 years to build and expand highway lanes and interchanges, make highways safer, get freight to market more quickly and provide commuters with transit, rail and other alternatives to driving. Made the Department of Transportation more accountable and took scores of other steps to improve the state’s transportation system. » More Transportation Accomplishments

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