Gregoire to successor: New revenue is necessary



OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire is challenging her successor to pursue new revenue to support education.

Gregoire said Monday while signing what is likely her last budget that the state cannot meet its responsibilities in education without a long-term dedicated source of revenue.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jay Inslee and Republican rival Rob McKenna have both said they don’t see the need for new revenue. They believe the state can save money through efficiencies and lower health care costs.

Inslee said he also wants to pay for education by growing revenue with a strong economy. Gregoire dismissed that idea, saying economic growth will be slow.

Gregoire said she wished her last budget would have included a downpayment on education funding. Lawmakers only approved a couple small revenue increases, such as narrowing a bank tax exemption for mortgages.