Citing a slowing national economy, Gov. Christine Gregoire Tuesday announced $330 million in cuts to Washington’s current year budget.
The cuts should give the state an $850 million surplus when the state’s two-year budget cycle concludes on June 30, Gregoire said, and give the state a head start on the deficit now projected for the 2011 biennium.
“These savings, when combined with fiscally responsible initiatives such as the rainy-day fund and adjustments to spending over the past few months, leave us with more money in the bank today and cut the projected 2011 shortfall nearly in half,” she said in a statement.
The deficit for the 2011 biennium was projected at $3.2 billion before the cuts were announced.
That deficit projection has been an issue in Gregoire’s re-election battle against Republican Dino Rossi this fall, a rematch of the 2004 race she won by a razor-thin margin.
“Even though today we have a surplus and are better prepared than other states to weather this storm, we will likely face a deficit in the next two years,” Gregoire said. “The national economy has affected the state’s budget, as well as our cities and counties. We have the tools to manage our way through this national crisis, and to do it without hurting core services.”