Tuesday, November 17, 2009

how bleak is it?

Last night's Legislative Forum had a theme: the future is bleak.

How bleak?

Check out The Olympian's article about Gregoire's decision to not call a special session.
She said the gap is huge, and puts unprotected programs at serious risk of cuts – including any discretionary programs fully funded by state dollars. Examples include the Basic Health Plan, which after budget cuts this year is projected to give subsidized health insurance to about 65,000 low-income working adults.

Another program facing threats of cuts is the General Assistance Unemployable program that gives cash stipends of about $339 a month and health care to people who are disabled or in some way unable to work. That program has been retooled into a managed-care health-delivery system; however, that is supposed to save $40 million in the next 18 months, unless it is scrapped.

Financial aid to college students is also at serious risk.
All that echoes exactly what our local legislators said yesterday. It's going to be a painful 2010. With Brendan Williams being the only one keen to discuss raising taxes, and with 2010 being an election year, you can pretty much count on steep cuts to the existing budget.

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