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Gov. Gregoire signs 2011-2013 budget

For Immediate Release: June 15, 2011

Gov. Chris Gregoire today issued the following statement regarding the 2011-2013 biennial state budget and the final bills signed from the 2011 legislative session:

“Nearly a year ago, faced with struggling revenues and surging needs for state services, I formed the Transforming Washington’s Budget Committee and asked the public for ideas about how to close the state’s budget shortfall. Their suggestions were straightforward and required bold action: improve efficiency, consolidate agencies, pay for services with user fees and tackle the budget’s growing costs. Today I signed a budget that does all of those things.

“This budget closed a $5.1 billion shortfall without new taxes. On a per-capita basis, the state’s General Fund at the end of this budget cycle will be at lows not seen since 1997. More than 23 major reforms were enacted this session that reduce the footprint of government, modernize services and consolidate functions. To boost our economic recovery we focused on creating jobs and giving businesses the tools they need to hire. More than 23 significant reforms occurred – many for the first time in decades, some for the first time in a century.

“Our state is ready for a more sustainable future but the costs to some of our most vulnerable residents will be great. To call their sacrifices easy or inadequate is to ignore the hardships they will endure.

“I commend the Legislature for their hard work. This was not a year of quick fixes or easy decisions, and legislators took courageous stands to get us through these tough times.”