Governor Gregoire's Steinbeckian-redux budget is scheduled to be released on Thursday. The good news: If you're not enrolled in the state's Basic Health Plan, a post-secondary student, an employee of the State's Film Office (a perennial cut-the-fat favorite soon to be "fin"), or an habitue of state parks, life should eke forward status quo.
"There isn't anything really surprising happening," said a reliable, albeit paranoid source who demanded to be referred to as "he/she." He/she indicated that the budget will include the closing of "a bunch of state parks." Parks represent an obvious, albeit curious cost savings. What happens to "closed" parks? Do they sit in abeyance, hemmed by a Maginot Line of Cyclone fencing to repel squatters?
Ironically, non-use of state parks might squeeze taxpayers as well.
Austerity brings out our best: The force that through the rocks drives the water. No matter that a modest income tax (and a concomitant reduction in Washington's regressive sales tax) might remedy the budget imbroglio. Who wants to acknowledge the revenue elephant fidgeting in the far corner of the room?