Governor seeks residents’ budget ideas as state faces shortfall

July 22, 2010

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 8 a.m. July 22, 2010

The governor has asked regular Joes and Janes to help shape the state budget.

Gov. Chris Gregoire launched a website Monday to allow citizens to share, comment and vote on budget ideas. State budget writers will consider the highest-rated items as they toil to develop a 2011-13 spending plan.

Ideas will be posted between 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The site will be moderated; no profane or vulgar postings will be accepted.

The state could face a $3 billion shortfall next year. Deep cuts to spending and possible privatization of some state services — such as Washington State Ferries — could become a reality as state leaders pinch pennies.

“Closing our state’s budget gap requires innovative thinking as well as making some tough decisions,” Gregoire said in a news release. “This interactive website gives people an opportunity to share ideas and engage in a discussion about what ideas might work best for us. I’m eager to hear what people have to tell us.”

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