Earlier this week Governor Gregoire signed into law the 2011-13 biennial operating and capital budgets.
Gregoire vetoed several sections of the operating budget passed by the Legislature at the end of May because of concerns with policy or technical issues. In addition she vetoed a handful of items in the capital budget, none of which impact Evergreen.
Included among the vetoes to the operating budget were:
- A feasibility study on the implications of mandating direct payroll deposit for state employees based on prior research by the Office of Financial Management that raised concerns among stakeholders and limited cost savings given that the majority of state employees voluntarily use direct deposit.
- The requirement that all state agencies, including institutions of higher education, complete a Washington State Quality Award or Baldridge full assessment with a schedule for completion of this assessment every three years and incorporation of this assessment into agency’s strategic plans. A veto was issued based on the unprecedented level of 2011-13 budget reductions and the existence of the the Government Management and Accountability Performance (GMAP) program which is more-cost effective.
- The creation of the Agency Reallocation and Realignment Commission (ARROW) with responsibilities for examining current state operations and organization and making proposals to reduce expenditures and eliminate duplication and overlapping services. A veto was issued based on the existence of current mechanisms to perform many of the same responsibilities without the additional cost.
- A proviso that directs Evergreen’s Washington State Institute for Public Policy to study the costs and benefits to state and local governments and the citizens of Washington from implementation of the state’s policies on “controlled substances”. A veto was issued based on the policy that controlled substances are under federal law and it would not be in the best interest of the state to spend funds on a study that cannot address the fundamental issues in this policy area.
The Governor also signed into law legislation requiring reductions in compensation related expenditures (SB 5860) and legislation that makes several changes to higher education retirement plans (HB 1981).