TWO ARTICLES WARN OF MORE MUNICIPAL BUDGET ISSUES AHEAD
1. Brad Shannon in The Olympian reports today:
“Gov. Chris Gregoire asked state government agencies to get ready for across-the-board budget cuts of 4 percent to 7 percent as soon as October and ordered a phase-in of $51 million in cuts to state welfare aid.
Gregoire painted a gloomy scenario, with state budget reserves now totaling just $72 million for the remaining 10 months of the budget cycle. The money cushion could disappear if revenue forecasts in September and November show further tax losses, which Gregoire said Tuesday she expects…
Minority Republicans in the Legislature say Gregoires cuts wont be quick enough or surgical enough.”
2. Michael Cooper reported this in The New York Times:
“Local, state governments cut school days, buses and streetlights amid downturn”
“Education, transportation and even public safety aren’t safe as budget axes swing”
“Faced with the steepest and longest decline in tax collections on record, state, county and city governments have resorted to major life-changing cuts in core services like education, transportation and public safety that, not too long ago, would have been unthinkable. And services in many areas could get worse before they get better.
The length of the downturn means that many places have used up all their budget gimmicks, cut services, raised taxes, spent their stimulus money and remained in the hole. Even with Congress set to approve extra stimulus aid, some analysts say states are still facing huge shortfalls.”
This writer has warned for many months that the state’s budget forecast is grim and Yelm should “batten down the hatches”. Those calling me a whiner will find more budget cuts affecting everything from schools, to elderly care right down to the city’s budget.
Yelm already saw the budget cutbacks hit here last year with an unfilled police dept. position & axing 6 city hall jobs.
The days of state grants for 1/2 a million bucks for flushing park toilets is coming to a swift end!
Kleiner as the whiner?
Or just wise counsel to be prepared for that coming rainy day?