Washington Governor Jay Inslee is directing state agencies to identify 15 percent cuts in the next budget. The directive comes as the latest revenue forecast out Tuesday shows an ongoing sluggish recovery. State budget director David Schumacher says the budget-cutting exercise does not mean all agencies will be cut by 15 percent.
“This is not a drill to impose across-the-board cuts, this is a drill to give the governor the options to figure out where the pain will be least,” Schumacher said.
But already, the union representing prison workers is sounding the alarm. Teamsters Local 117 warns a 15 percent cut to corrections would require the closure of a prison and the early release of inmates.
Washington is feeling budget pressures on several fronts: a Supreme Court requirement to increase school funding, pent-up demand for state employee pay increases, and ongoing pension and health care obligations.
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