After the legislative session ended without new state employee contracts, Gregoire struck a deal with the unions that has the taxpayers picking up 88 percent of health care costs and left pay arrangements from the 2007-09 contract intact.
Newspapers all over the state have issued editorial warnings to the Governor and Legislators as they contemplate new taxes for 2010. Stating the need for “radical” thinking in these tough times, newspapers encouraged the state to dig deeper for more government efficiency — particularly with regard to these pay and benefit increases. The Spokane Spokesman-Review said, “State Unions must be part of fair fiscal solution,” and others said talk of new taxes would be premature without going back to the bargaining table with state employee unions. We couldn’t agree more, and add the Business Journal's voice to those already calling for the Governor to say a firm “No” to the unions.