April 22, 2005 Contact: Booker Stallworth, Communications Director
Gregoire highlights state's nomination for award for no-new-taxes budget written by Sen. Dino Rossi
OLYMPIA—On April 20, Governor Christine Gregoire issued a press release highlighting the state being a finalist for Harvard’s “Innovation in Government Award.” Washington was nominated for the award because of its use of the priorities of government (POG) budget model in crafting a no-new-taxes budget in 2003. Then-Senator Dino Rossi used POG to write the 2003-05 budget, which he prioritized within available revenue despite facing more than a $2 billion budget deficit.
Gregoire’s release read in-part: “Washington’s pioneering budgeting method—which follows a process to prioritize state services within available resources—is among 18 government initiatives from across the nation to emerge as finalists out of an initial field of more than 1,000 applicants.”
The Governor went on to say that she “used the POG process to prepare the budget[she] proposed…,” even though her budget exceeds available revenue.
Abandoning POG, a majority of legislators are now set to approve a record $26 billion 2005-07 budget that relies on nearly $500 million in tax increases, raids of dedicated accounts and other one-time budget gimmicks. Based on the Democrats’ planned budget expenses, the state will have a budget reserve of less than one percent to address any unforeseen emergency.
To implement the tax increases necessary to reach their record level of spending, Democrats altered the voter-approved I-601 spending limit to allow them to raise taxes with a simple majority vote and to redefine the state’s spending limit for the 2007-09 budget so state spending can grow at an even faster pace than currently authorized.
“Since the governor ran on a no-new-taxes platform, raising half a billion dollars in tax increases and gutting the voter-approved spending limit is nothing short of a betrayal,” said Jason Mercier, budget analyst for the Evergreen Freedom Foundation. “A tax increase is a tax increase, no matter what label you slap on it.”
“The governor appears not to understand what prioritizing within available resources means,” said Mercier. “Raising taxes by half a billion dollars to increase state spending by nearly 12 percent is not prioritizing spending within available resources. This budget is not based on priorities of government— it’s a $26 billion tax-and-spend deficit maker.”
Saturday, April 23, 2005
EFF: Gregoire recognizes success of Rossi budget
Below is a press release from the Evergreen Freedom Foundation. Their remarks are sufficient enough that I need not add my own: