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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

April 29, 2009 at 4:30 PM

State budget passed

Cuts to education, health care lack conscience

We are ashamed to be citizens of the state of Washington right now.

The budget just passed is a disgrace [“Legislature gives final approval to budget,” NWSunday, April 26]. It is shortsighted. And while its immediate effects will be borne most heavily by those who can least afford it, very soon we will all feel that pain.

Cutting education funding will exact a toll on our economy and the state will become less competitive. Slashing 40,000 people from the rolls of the Basic Health Plan will cost us all as more people are unable to afford needed and preventive care and will end up in our already dismally overcrowded emergency rooms.

It is truly sad that we don’t have leadership at the state level that matches the enormity of our problems. It is beyond us why our governor and Legislature did not seize this moment to finally address the real and growing inequities in our state tax system, which is one of the most regressive in the country.

We will all pay for this budget without a conscience.

— Kate Marrone and Bruce Patt, Seattle

Math doesn’t add up

Looking at the huge cuts in our state budget, I thought back to when the governor first took office with a budget just under $24 billion. We had a small shortfall, but most programs were fully funded.

Now the governor is starting her second term with a budget pared down from $39 billion (a 58.3 percent increase from her first term) to just $35 billion (an increase of 43.8 percent) and every program is getting cut.

Can anyone explain to the uninformed taxpayers how we can’t fund education and health care with the huge increases in spending? Where are the increases in expenses? No amount of fancy math tricks can support budget increases like these.

— Gene Hardin, Graham

Bad behavior in the Capitol

As a student at Green River Community College, I think Gov. Chris Gregoire and the entire Washington state Legislature are a disgrace.

Olympia has made so many poor decisions in the past four years when it comes to cutting funds for education (raising tuition prices and cutbacks on staff) and also cutting back social services, like the Department of Social and Health Services. I’m a disabled student and am very disgruntled by the bad attitude our voters in this state and our government have.

Gov. Gregoire and everyone else in the state Legislature, you should be ashamed of your bad behavior to the citizens of this state. I think it’s time for all of you to resign now!

— Patrick Hirang, Kent

Comments | More in Washington Legislature

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