1. "Create 240 construction jobs during the first phase of the project."
Daniels Real Estate on the result of yesterday's announcement by King County Executive Dow Constantine that the standoff beetween Daniels and CenturyLink Field over the planned mixed-use development project has been resolved.
Daniels plans to build 800 housing units, 400,000 square feet of office space and 35,000 square feet of retail space.
2. "We cut the bejeebers out of everything else"
—State house Ways and Means Chair Rep. Ross Hunter (D-48, Medina) in a blog post that explains the last round of budget cuts (that's the "bejeebers" part), that lays out the current budget situation (there's about $7 to $8 billion in discretionary funds the legislature can look at for cuts), and that comes with a chart showing what would happen if the state made across the board cuts totaling $2 billion (the amount they need to cut to balance the budget and have adequate reserves) and distributed them proportionally.
Across the board cuts would zap $847 million out of education funding (including higher ed and K-12) and $834.5 million out of human services.
Hunter dismisses making across the board cuts, saying the legislature must "craft a budget that is a better representation of our values but that also balances."
He also says the "more likely" approach to the budget will be a combo of revenue increases and cuts.
3. "We cannot take ... a Pac-Man approach to the budget."
—Gov. Chris Gregoire, yesterday, explaining that state budget writers can no longer simply nibble at all government programs across the board to make the $2 billion in necessary cuts, saying instead that government leaders have decide which programs must be completely eliminated by admitting "there are things we simply as a state can no longer do."[pullquote]Government leaders have decide which programs must be completely eliminated by admitting "there are things we simply as a state can no longer do."—Gov. Gregoire.[/pullquote]
4. "We need to come together and find agreement on what represents the core functions of state government, fund those priority programs and eliminate ones that are not within the priorities of government."
—State Rep. Gary Alexander (R-20, Olympia), the ranking Republican on the house ways and means committee, in a statement on the budget crisis yesterday.
5. "Yakima, Grant, Cowlitz, and Franklin counties have the highest [poverty] rates in the state, with at least one in five residents living in poverty."
—The Washington State Budget & Policy Center's breakdown of the latest census data detailing the economic crisis in our state.
Some other stats: Between 2009 and 2010, 84,000 more Washingtonians slipped into poverty; nearly 890,000 people in our state now live below the federal poverty line (for a family of four, that means surviving on less than $23,000 a year); and while thousands of additional Washingtonians fell into poverty last year, the situation also become much worse for those already struggling to make ends meet. The number of people living in deep poverty – with incomes below $12,000 a year (for a family of four) – now accounts for 45 percent of all people living in poverty.
6. "We have to consider every option. Everything's on the table"
Gov. Gregoire 'sspokeswoman Karina Shagren to PubliCola on whether revenue was in the mix of possibilities to address the budget crisis.
Shagren was responding to Republican leaders in the legislature—Republican senate minority leader Mike Hewitt (R-16, Walla Walla) and Republican budget leader Joseph Zarelli (R-18, Ridgefield)—who issued a joint statement yesterday saying, “We agree with the governor that our focus should not be on the revenue side of the budget" after Gregoire told the press yesterday her first move would be to make cuts and that a revenue package is "premature."
Gregoire added, though, that "I will take nothing off the table at this point."
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