Issue Position: Building a Stronger Economy
Despite national economic challenges, Gov. Gregoire is strengthening our economy by creating new jobs, being fiscally responsible, supporting agriculture and improving transportation.
Gov. Gregoire was raised by a single, working mother, so she understands the importance of a paycheck to working families.
Before Gov. Gregoire was elected, Washington had one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation.
Under her leadership, our state has more than 200,000 new jobs and exports have doubled to $66 billion.
Forbes Magazine ranked our state as one of the top-three best states for business. The Small Business Council ranks Washington as the fourth-best state for small business.
Gov. Gregoire inherited a $2.2 billion deficit from her Republican opponent, but our state has a big surplus today.
This is because Gov. Gregoire understands the importance of fiscal responsibility. After she was elected, Gov. Gregoire cut government red tape, provided tax relief to residents and businesses and supported the creation of a Rainy Day Fund.
She cut more than 1,100 middle managers from state payrolls and saved tax payers more than $260 million by making the state more efficient. In November 2007, she reinstated a voter-approved one-percent cap on property taxes.
For her efforts, the nonpartisan, independent Pew Center on the States ranked Washington as one of the top-three states for managing public resources.
Gov. Gregoire was raised on a small family farm and understands the needs of our farmers and forest landowners. Since 2005, she has been getting results that help our working farms and forests succeed in the local and global economies.
Gov. Gregoire's personal relationships with foreign leaders have opened new markets for Washington's exports. Since Gov. Gregoire took office, exports have doubled and now total $66 billion.
Gov. Gregoire also provides our farmers targeted tax relief and common-sense improvements to land regulations. She even secured farms and communities the first new supplies of water from the Columbia River in 30 years and protected the river's fish.
Gov. Chris Gregoire inherited a neglected highway system. In 2003 and 2004, only 12 highway projects were completed.
Today, we have completed 130 highway projects - from adding HOV lanes in Central Puget Sound to building a new SR-17 interchange in Moses Lake - and many more are on the way.
Gov. Gregoire is making the tough decisions to move big projects forward, like replacing the 520 bridge four years early and up to $700 million less than originally proposed.
Despite rising construction costs, the Tacoma Narrows Bridge was also completed during her first term $114 million under budget.
As a mother, Gov. Gregoire understands the importance of safer highways. She has strengthened 180 bridges against earthquakes and is improving safety on US 2 and other highways across the state.