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Wash. Governor Wishes New Budget Had Bigger Cushion Of Reserves

Washington Governor Chris Gregoire is concerned by the slim cushion of reserves in the state's budget. Photo by Austin Jenkins
Washington Governor Chris Gregoire is concerned by the slim cushion of reserves in the state's budget. Photo by Austin Jenkins

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Washington Governor Chris Gregoire is praising the rebalanced state budget that the legislature delivered to her in the wee hours of Wednesday morning. But Gregoire also told reporters Thursday that she's concerned by the very slim cushion of reserves lawmakers left in the state treasury.

She indicates she will selectively veto some proposed spending to keep more cash in reserve.

"I can't go in there and create $300 million, don't mistake me," the governor says. "But I do have to look at things that were just thrown in there in the end. It got to a fever pitch. So it's not a perfect product."

Gregoire says the revised state budget appears "sustainable" based on the outlook today. But the Democratic governor warns higher gas prices or a fresh European debt crisis have the potential to erode consumer confidence.

That could set back state tax collections yet again.

Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network

Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network

Tom Banse covers national news, business, science, public policy, Olympic sports and human interest stories from across the Northwest. He reports from well known and out–of–the–way places in the region where important, amusing, touching, or outrageous events are unfolding. Tom's stories can be found online and heard on-air during "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered" on NPR stations in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.