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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Governor Gregoire: Tim Eyman's Initiative 1033 would guarantee devastation

It's no secret that Governor Chris Gregoire isn't a fan of Tim Eyman or his latest jobs-killing wealth transfer scheme, Initiative 1033.

But this morning the governor delivered her most impassioned attack to date on the measure, declaring at the Washington Conversation Voters' Breakfast of Champions that I-1033 would "devastate the State of Washington", and imploring the environmental community to do everything humanly possible to defeat it.

"I've come this morning not to make a pitch for money, but to ask for your vote again," she said, explaining that the danger of Initiative 1033's passage was the prinicipal reason she wanted to speak at the breakfast.

The following is a partial transcript of the Governor's remarks. Joel Connelly has also posted a report on this morning's breakfast over at Strange Bedfellows.
GOVERNOR GREGOIRE: We are in unbelievably difficult times. As if it wasn't tough enough last year, we're facing, yet again, another budget deficit. Somewhere between $1 and $2 billion dollars. The light at the end of the tunnel is we're predicted to come out of it stronger and better than any state. But it's gonna be a long haul to get there. There is one thing that could make sure we don't get there. There is one thing that will ensure we devastate the State of Washington.

So I came here this morning to ask you... please... do everything you can. Vote yourself NO on 1033. But get everybody in Washington State to join in.

[SUSTAINED APPLAUSE]

You know we had to take cuts in natural resources. There's not a legislator here, present, or those who couldn't make it this morning that wanted to do that. But we had to do it. You know we had to take cuts in education. Again, no one, no one wants to take cuts in education. We had to take cuts in healthcare.

Again, no one wants to take cuts in healthcare.

But if we want to guarantee that we will not come out of this recession, that those cuts will become permanent and that there be still more cuts, that's what 1033 will do for us.

The proponent of 1033 says there will be no cut in services. I just don't get how you can suggest that. That is incomprehensible to me. Will we have any hearts left in the state when we're done? Will we have anybody protecting our our air, or our clean water? And at the local level, it will be equally as devastating. And they are struggling today to get through these tough times.

So I came here to say, we don't have to do what Colorado did. They learned the lesson the hard way. They adopted something very similar to this. And my friends, they went to 49th in the country in K-12 funding. They weren't even guaranteeing immunization for children or even requiring it to enter school. Their class sizes grew. That's not the future of the State of Washington.

If we want our communities to remain vibrant, if we want our state to continue to lead - whether it's the cleanup of Puget Sound, or clean energy, or climate change - we can't afford 1033. And we can't afford to learn the lesson that Colorado did the hard way.

So I come here this morning... and I don't do this very often. In fact, I don't recall ever having done it as governor. I come here from the bottom of my heart to tell you, I will not stand by, I will not be silent, as Washington State faces yet another initiative.

Take a look at California. Why can't they function? Because they have initiated themselves to death!

[APPLAUSE]

We elected these legislators and this governor to do the tough stuff. And they showed last legislative session they're prepared to lead and take on the tough issues. But the last thing we need is to devastate our communities. To take our people who are on healthcare, already 35,000 losing it, to have the 60,000 that are sitting there waiting for the day that we recover from the recession, that they might be able to get healthcare, to be denied.

We know these cuts are temporary. We know we can replace them once we get revenue. So we must make sure that we can do precisely that. And not continue Washington State in this devastating recession.

[The] Office of Financial Management predicts we will have to cut another 5.9 billion dollars between now and 2015 under 1033. Let me put this perspective: 9 billion dollar cuts last year. Facing yet another $1 to $2 billion. 3 billion in federal stimulus dollars is not going to be there anymore. And we're going to cut another $5.9 billion?

You can do the math yourself. You can see the consequences yourself.
The governor is absolutely correct. If I-1033 passes, economic devastation will follow. All of Washington's neighborhoods would be harmed by this destructive measure, the most dangerous and cunning that Tim Eyman has ever proposed.

It is imperative that we thwart Initiative 1033's services freezes in its tracks these next few weeks. If we don't, Washington will have no future. Under I-1033 our common wealth would be raided for the benefit of the rich, public servants shackled, and essential services gutted. We cannot allow that to happen. It is imperative that we prevent this wrecking ball of an initiative from ruining our state.

Vote NO on Initiative 1033.

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