Gregoire considers new options for state budget process
Originally published June 24, 2010 at 8:29 a.m., updated June 24, 2010 at 12:37 p.m.
OLYMPIA - Privatizing the state's ferry system and selling naming rights to highways or rest stops are among the ideas Gov. Chris Gregoire is considering as she prepares the next state budget.
The state is looking at another budget cycle of major deficits, as tax collections continue to drag following the Great Recession.
Gregoire and Democratic legislative leaders cut about $12 billion from the current two-year budget to balance the books. But the next two-year budget is already facing a projected shortfall of about $3 billion.
Gregoire says it's time to rethink the way government operates, because it could be a long time before tax streams rebound to pre-recession levels. She's also convening a big panel of expert advisers to help work out budget problems.