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Gregoire To Candidates: 'Sounds Good, Doesn't Work'

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Outgoing Washington Governor Chris Gregoire has a message for the candidates to replace her: “sounds good, doesn’t work.” That’s Gregoire’s take on several of the budget-balancing ideas she’s hearing from fellow Democrat Jay Inslee and Republican Rob McKenna.

In response to reporter questions, Gregoire got to play the role of seasoned eight-year veteran of the governor’s office. Both candidates say they would look to close outdated tax loopholes.

“I said that eight years ago," the governor says. "I’ve learned a lot.”

Outgoing Washington Governor Chris Gregoire says campaign rhetoric doesn’t match budget reality. Photo by Austin Jenkins
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Outgoing Washington Governor Chris Gregoire says campaign rhetoric doesn’t match budget reality. Photo by Austin Jenkins

Gregoire says eliminating tax breaks is harder than it sounds. On Democrat Inslee’s plan to help close a $1 billion budget shortfall with savings from Lean management.

“I’m working on the 2013-2015 budget and I’m not booking $1 billion in savings because of our implementation of Lean.”

Or for that matter any savings of significance from improved work flow in state government. Republican McKenna proposes to cap all non-education spending at 3 percent a year.

Gregoire is blunt.

“So that’s a nice hypothetical. You need to understand as governor you don’t have that much discretion over your budget.”

Gregoire’s message to the next governor of Washington.

“On January 16th at 12:01, welcome to my world.”

Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network

Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy as well as the Washington State legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia." Prior to joining the Northwest News Network, Austin worked as a television reporter in Seattle, Portland and Boise. Austin is a graduate of Garfield High School in Seattle and Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut. Austin’s reporting has been recognized with awards from the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors, Public Radio News Directors Incorporated and the Society of Professional Journalists.
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