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Gov. Gregoire meets with President-elect Obama and fellow governors on economic stimulus

For Immediate Release: December 2, 2008

PHILADELPHIA – Gov. Chris Gregoire today met with President-elect Obama and fellow governors in Philadelphia before traveling to the nation’s capitol for additional meetings with her colleagues.

“Last February, I met with Congressional leaders as we were witnessing the first signs of a national economic slowdown. At that time I asked Congress to consider a stimulus package that would put Americans to work,” stated Gregoire. “Today, I asked President-elect Obama to propose a stimulus package that would provide Americans a steady paycheck, not a one time ‘bonus’ check.”

In a November letter to Congress, the governor renewed her call for an economic stimulus package that also included increased funding for unemployment insurance, food stamps and Medicaid.

In this state as part of her economic stimulus actions, the governor expedited the release of nearly $300 million in federal funds to help relieve distressed fishing communities, assistance to low-income households to help pay energy bills and provide jobs for home weatherization projects.

President-elect Obama pulled governors together to prepare an economic recovery plan for America. He indicated the plan has to be passed as soon as possible to help main street and to produce 2.5 million jobs throughout the United States.

Gregoire is working with state and local officials to identify ready-to-go road and public works infrastructure projects that would potentially employ thousands of Washingtonians. Green collar jobs are considered a critical component as we look to broaden the work force.

“We are facing unprecedented challenges in unchartered territory. President-elect Obama specifically called on a partnership with governors to support his efforts on our economic recovery and other issues over the course of the next four years, including energy and health care. It will take all of us, federal, state, and local leaders working with our communities to successfully navigate this recession,” the governor said.