Gov. Chris Gregoire today issued the following statement on the budget released by the House Democrats:
"With lower than expected utilization in the last caseload forecast and a slight uptick in the revenue forecast, our economic picture has progressed from when I released my budget in November. That positive movement, however slight, has helped avoid some significant reductions. The budget plan released by the House Democrats today is a good start on addressing our shortfall and while we are still reviewing the details, it appears to prioritize critical education programs which are essential to our state's future. I'm pleased this budget leaves a sizable ending fund balance as we must continue to plan for unforeseen circumstances.
"I look forward to the Senate's proposal -- and urge both chambers, and both parties, to move quickly toward final passage of a budget that continues to prioritize education."