Yesterday, Governor Christine Gregoire began rolling out her proposals for dealing with the state's projected $4.6 billion shortfall for the next two-year funding cycle. (That's not the shortfall we're dealing with now. It's the one that's coming, starting this July.)
Here are today's proposals, starting with how much they save:
$2.5 million: Eliminate 14 positions in the state's natural resources agencies by consolidating 11 different natural resources agencies into just five.
$18.3 million: Eliminate 95 positions in the "back end" operations that perform administrative tasks for various state agencies. This would be accomplished by merging the Departments of General Administration, Personnel, Printing, and portions of the Department of Information Services and the Office of Financial Management merge into something set to be called the "Department of Enterprise Services."
$1.4 million: Eliminate 16 positions by merging the state’s Human Rights Commission, Office of Minority and Women’s Business Enterprise, Commission on African Affairs, Commission on Hispanic Affairs, and Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs into one "Office of Civil Rights."
$7.4 million: Continue decreasing the number of boards and commissions in Washington State (we've already lost 143 over the last two years) by eliminating 36 more. “While these boards were created with good intentions," Gregoire said in a statement, "they take time and resources to manage, which we can no longer afford.”
$???: "Integrating correctional services," by some means that are not yet clear and don't yet have a projected savings attached. According to a statement from the governor's office: "Though talks are just beginning, the Governor hopes opportunities emerge to save taxpayer money with no impact to public safety, like sharing jail space."