Agriculture and the Governor's draft proposed budget

Agriculture and the Governor's draft proposed budget

Washington Ag Today October 28, 2011 Washington’s farmers and ranchers would be impacted in numerous ways from the spending reductions Governor Chris Gregoire unveiled Thursday in a draft proposed budget for the legislature to cut another two-billion dollars in state spending due to revenue shortfalls in the current biennium. The governor said the cuts can only come from the third of the budget not protected by law or contract.

Gregoire: “That is 8.7 billion dollars available from which we have to cut 2 billion dollars. That is a 23% cut.”

The governor’s plan would terminate state funding to county fairs for premiums but preserve funding for community and youth fairs. That would save three million dollars.

Administrative and operation grants to conservation districts would be cut by 57 percent to encourage districts to pursue local assessments. That saves 1.4 million dollars.

The state subsidy for permitting of agricultural burning would be reduced and would be made up by fee increases. That would save 222-thousand dollars.

Payments to landowners for confirmed damage to agricultural crops by wildlife would be suspended. Those savings would be 300-thousand dollars.

State general support for universities like Washington State University would be cut by 15 percent in the second year of the biennium. That would save 166 million dollars.

The Legislature will meet in special session in late November to address the budget shortfall.

I’m Bob Hoff and that’s Washington Ag Today on Northwest Aginfo Net.

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