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PubliColaTV: Tell it to the Gov.

By Bryce McKay July 23, 2010

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xY8pXbqkwvY[/youtube]

The Governor held the second of four budget forums on Wednesday at Everett Commuity College, drawing a crowd of around two hundred: predominantly young, and if the speakers reflected the values of the whole crowd, predominantly liberal.

Part of the Governor’s task force on Transforming Washington’s Budget also attended, though they didn’t say much. The Governor’s staff did explain the budget for the 2010-2011 biennium, breaking it down into six values of Washington State Government—education and student achievement; protecting health and vulnerable people; economic development; effective government; public safety; and natural resources.

Marty Brown, head of the Office of Financial Management (a grandfatherly-looking guy—white hair and beard, and a sensible striped tie), said that $3 billion in additional cuts are needed.

But mostly, they listened.

There were a lot of comments. People suggested what should be cut, what should be kept, and in some cases of cases, what previously cut spending should be resurrected. But for the most part, people were advocating on behalf of particular services—mostly, people were saying, “Don’t cut this spending. I need it.”

And PubliColaTV brings you many of their comments. There were some touching stories, some cooky commenters, and some serious suggestions. I’ve cut together a montage of some of the things the governor heard mostly because I found it particularly compelling (either in the, “wow, what a trainwreck… yet I can’t look away,” or the “you are so genuine and passionate and I just love democracy!” sort of way).

Stars of the vid include Gene Bell, an accountant and past president of the Washington Association of Accountants, who advocates for lower taxes; Lloyd Burrows, a veteran of the Vietnam Conflict trying to get funding for a homeless veterans' shelter; Fatima Morales with the Washington Community Action Network who pushes for closing corporate tax loopholes.
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