I'd like to share with you the uninspiring lame-o form letter response that Nine-billion-in-the-hole-Governor Gregoire sent me as her response to my concern about closing state parks.
Here it is:
Thank you for contacting Governor Gregoire about the budget. She appreciates every letter, message, and call she has received.
The Governor understands that many Washingtonians are concerned about the economy, struggling to make ends meet around their personal finances and fearful about state funding cuts. Like the rest of the country and the world, we are in the midst of an economic slowdown.
Governor Gregoire proposed and submitted her budget to the Legislature using the Priorities of Government (POG) approach that looks at the effectiveness of state programs to prioritize spending, focusing on services that matter most. POG is a sound method to determine the state's funding priorities, a process that designates items as "buy now" or "buy later" using funds the state has to work with. While she used POG to help inform her budget decisions, she also took into account the priorities citizens have for state government services and other important considerations.
The Governor did not like the budget she proposed, which included many difficult funding cuts. Her budget provides a solid foundation and starting point. However, since submitting it to the Legislature in December, as required by law, the deficit has continued to increase. We now face the loss of more than $721 million for the period ending June 30, 2009, and a nearly $9 billion shortfall for the 2009-11 Biennium, the largest budget shortfall in our state's history.
Governor Gregoire is optimistic about President Obama's efforts to provide the states with economic relief through the now-signed stimulus package that will address some of our revenue shortfall. However, the package is not a cure-all for either the recession or our state's budget deficit. Efforts to identify solutions to the recession and resulting state budget shortfalls are ongoing. State government will have to sacrifice and make hard choices just like Washington families. The final budget will include cuts, which are unavoidable. But families know, and we know, that tough people always outlast tough times and together we will emerge stronger from the challenges we face.
Again, thanks for contacting Governor Gregoire. She will be keeping your concerns in mind.
Director of Government Operations
Christine O. Gregoire
Of course there is nothing here about addressing the point of my letter-state park closures and how reckless past spending lead us there. At least Representative Jeannie Darneille, chairperson of the state parks committee had the decency to respond back to me with a sincere response-and timely too. Thank you, Rep Darneille.
The governor in her finest fashion punts! She never takes responsibility that she got us here in the first place. And I love how she refers to President Obama's stimulus plan as a way to help get her off the hook. Yep-rob Peter to pay Paul. Or more like have Peter print up a few billion more dollars to grease the hands of Paul who spends money like a drunken sailor who just won the lottery. Yep, Governor, you give me much faith -thanks for getting us in this mess. I can only imagine what your next move (or more than likely inaction) is going to be. And thanks "for keeping my concerns in mind!"