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Gov. Inslee Directs State Agencies To Identify 15 Percent Cuts

Elaine Thompson
AP Photo
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Gov. Jay Inslee is directing Washington state agencies to identify 15 percent cuts in the next budget. The directive comes as the latest revenue forecast released 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 the Department of 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.

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.