1. There is new polling on Mayor Nickels that is devastating.
2. Snow-Pocalypse '08 is Mayor Nickels' Hurricane Katrina. Or worse, his WTO.
3. Dear Exploratory Committees of Seattle, I've just told you all you need to know.
4. State Senate Majority Leader Sen. Lisa Brown (D-3, Spokane), who just a month ago said (on her Facebooks page) "We cannot responsibly deal with an 8 billion dollar deficit with an all-cuts budget," is rumored to be queuing up an all-cuts budget to deal with the now-$9 billion deficit.
5. And here's what state Rep. Dave Upthegrove (D-33, Burien) is saying on his Facebooks page about the budget crisis (the last paragraph is hardcore) :
a budget reality check....
I saw a little tidbit today that I thought highlights the scope of the state budget challenge. Check this out....
If we COMPLETELY ELIMINATE all of these:
University of Washington
Western Washington University
Department of Health
Department of Ecology
Department of Veterans' Affairs
Department of Natural Resources
Department of Agriculture
State Parks and Recreation Commission
State School for the Blind
Human Rights Commission
DSHS - Children's (Child Protection) Administration
DSHS - Juvenile Rehabilitation
DSHS Division of Alcohol and Substance Abuse
State Supreme Court
State Senate and House of Representatives.
...we would save $3.1 billion.
WE HAVE TO CUT $8.3 BILLION (possibly increasing to $8.8 billion with tomorrow's revenue forecast).
We have less than $1 billion in federal bailout funds ("obama dollars" from the federal stimulus package), but that will help. UPDATE: new revenue forcast increases gap to $9.15 billion. Federal stimulus funds are closer to $3 billion. Also, to be clear, this $9.15 gap represents the gap between what it would cost to provide the same level of services and the amount of money we have. Also, keep in mind this is different that a $9.15 billion reduction in real dollars from the current budget (if that makes sense)....
I'm just sayin'.....brace yourselves.
Oh, and by the way, I support new revenue. Unfortunately, a citizens initiative that y'all passed on the ballot last year prevents us from raising new revenue without a 2/3rd vote of the House and a 2/3rd vote of the Senate, and the Republicans (and some of my Democratic colleagues) have said "no way," so we don't have the votes. We can try to put a revenue package out to voters but it will only be a drop in the bucket, and passage would be uncertain.
6. A payday loan bill that puts a maximum on the number of loans a borrower can get in one year (eight) and mandates making installment plans immediately available to repay loans— regulations that low-income advocates believe will help prevent borrowers from falling into a cycle of high-interest payday loan debt—has a hearing in the state Senate today. The advocates would like to lower the maximum on loans to four. The bill already passed the House. The legislature, nor either chamber, has ever passed legislation regulating payday loans.