Sen. Murray, the chair of the budget-writing Senate Ways & Means Committee, issued the following statement regarding Gov. Chris Gregoire's signing of the budget approved by the Legislature:
"This is the first budget in four years to avoid cuts to Washington’s schools, colleges and universities. For families and students, that is great news. After the deep cuts of the past few years, I and many of my colleagues are pleased to have protected education and important services for Washingtonians who are sick, hungry or disabled.
"We should not, however, overlook the fact that cuts were still made to public services this year, or that this budget marks the first time in at least 40 years that state spending has declined for two biennia in a row. As long as so many Washingtonians are still out of work, their need for support will remain high and our revenues will remain weak. We must continue to find ways to help those who need it, and assist our communities in recovering from a historic recession."