In this edition of the Media Digest you'll find a few editorials questioning the possibility for revenue in balancing the state budget, a story about the fight to preserve a school for youth in the juvenile justice system, a story exploring whether television can help bridge the achievement gap in early learning, and the first results from the 'everything but marriage' law.
Gregoire's budget likely to be all cuts I Seattle PI: Strange Bedfellows I 12-7-2009
After talking for weeks about the need to raise taxes to blunt the impacts of a $2.6 billion budget deficit, Olympia insiders now say the spending plan Gov. Chris Gregoire will release Wednesday will probably contain no new revenue sources but instead detail huge cuts in state spending.
Gov. Chris Gregoire will release her budget fix Wednesday morning I The News Tribune I 12-7-2009
The day was pretty certain but the time was still unknown until now. It'll be 9 a.m. in her conference room in Olympia. Gov. Chris Gregoire and her budget staff has been trying to figure out how to solve the latest budget hole. This time it's $2.6 billion from a $31.4 billion budget approved last April.
Domestic partnership registrations are way up in Washington since election I Investigate West I 12-3-2009
More couples are registering for domestic partnerships in Washington state since voters approved the state’s “everything but marriage” law last month, becoming the first state in the nation to vote rights for same-sex couples.
Can Television Help Close the Achievement Gap? I Birth to Thrive Online I 12-3-2009
Television programs helped preschoolers develop reading skills and get ready for kindergarten, a new study found, suggesting the tube isn’t all bad.
Wallace will seek to end sales-tax exemption I The Columbian I 12-6-2009
State Rep. Deb Wallace will reintroduce her bill to eliminate the sales tax exemption for out-of-state residents when the 2010 Legislature convenes in January.
Editorial: In our view, Dec. 6: Reform First I The Columbian I 12-6-2009
With budget woes growing even more painful for state government, dire comments from Gov. Chris Gregoire and a few other Democrats remind us of a family desperately discussing over the kitchen table how to cut the costs of a new Cadillac. The brakes must be paid for. They certainly can't take out the steering system. Of course, an engine will be needed. Can't do without the headlights. Then, the wise grandmother walks into the kitchen and suggests, "Those accessories are all essential, but do we really have to buy a Cadillac?"
More Grim Budget News I Publicola I 12-4-2009
The Washington State Budget and Policy Center’s Schmudget blog (Yiddish for budget) reports on a new presentation by the Senate Ways and Means Committee on the state of the Washington budget. The top-line takeaway? It’s worse than anyone thought—because of federal restrictions, only about $7.7 billion of the state budget is available for cuts, as opposed to the $9.6 billion previously reported. (The state budget is $2.6 billion in the red). Worse: Human services are overrepresented in that $7.7 billion, meaning they’re the most likely area to take a hit.
Editorial: It's too soon to call for higher taxes I Walla-Walla Union Bulletin I 12-5-2009
The governor and state lawmakers must make difficult choices to reduce spending to balance the budget.
Editorial: In Olympia, taxes must still be last resort | The News Tribune I 12-6-2009
Next week, when Gov. Chris Gregoire proposes her spending adjustment for the remainder of the biennium, Washington will see what budget austerity really looks like. We can’t blame Gov. Chris Gregoire and other Democratic leaders for talking tax increases. The Democratic Party is all about robust state services, and its lawmakers don’t want to preside over the skeletonizing of cherished programs. All that said, it’s too soon to put taxes on the table.
Legislators vow to protect Maple Lane from closure I The Daily News I 12-5-2009
Local legislators vowed to fight the potential closure of Maple Lane School in Grand Mound during a public meeting at the Great Wolf Lodge here Friday night. Maple Lane, which houses more than 190 juveniles under state custody, was reluctantly recommended for closure by consultants in a report funded through the state budget.
Taxes needed to close state's growing deficit? I HeraldNet I 12-7-2009
Gov. Gregoire says cuts alone aren't enough as she prepares to announce her budget plan this week.