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Wash. Governor Anticipates Cuts Above 7 Percent; Departs On Trade Mission

Austin Jenkins

Washington Governor Chris Gregoire is bracing for across–the–board cuts that go deeper than the 7 percent she told state agencies to anticipate. Gregoire made that announcement Monday afternoon just prior to leaving on an Asia trade mission. As Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins reports, the Democratic governor says trade is Washington's ticket out of the recession.


Gregoire will lead a 100 person delegation to China and Vietnam on an 11–day trade mission — her first trip to Asia since 2005. She will focus on selling Washington as a great tourist destination for middle–class Asian families. She also hopes to open doors for companies and farmers from the Northwest who want to sell their products in Asia. Gregoire says a key focus of this trip is promoting alternative energy to energy–hungry Asia. That's why she'll introduce Asian leaders to a representative from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in the Tri–Cities.

Gregoire: "Because they're the leaders in Smart Grid and they want to talk about Smart Grid. So I think there's a lot of opportunity for us to talk about them investing here."

But as the trade mission departs, the bad economic news keeps coming. Gregoire has signed an executive order authorizing across–the–board cuts in anticipation of a bad revenue forecast later this week. Instead of cuts in the 4 to 7 percent range, she now anticipates cuts of 7 to 10 percent.

I'm Austin Jenkins in Olympia.

© Copyright 2010, Northwest News Network

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