The second budget released by Governor Gregoire yesterday restores $779 million in cuts to the state budget. However, core environmental protection programs were not among those restored. Programs that have their basic functions threatened by the cuts include: toxic contamination clean up, water quality, air quality, water resources, habitat protection, and transportation.

Bill Robinson of The Nature Conservancy said, “It’s clear the Governor wants a budget that will protect our quality of life, is in line with our values, and that will ensure we have a bright future. We look forward to working with the Governor and the Legislature to ensure core environmental programs are bought back with new revenue to better protect the health of our state.”

“Washington is somewhere people want to settle down and raise their families, and a large part of that is the health of our environment,” said Joan Crooks, executive director of Washington Environmental Council.

“Right now, natural resource agencies are already struggling to deliver the basic services we rely on them for: clean drinking water, clean air to breath, and cleanup of toxic sites. These cuts put at risk our economy, public health, and our environment.”

NW Energy Coalition policy associate Carrie Dolwick praised the governor for saying she’d direct state agencies to enact a green building program. “Retrofitting state buildings will put people to work, reduce the state’s carbon footprint and save $60 million in energy costs,” Dolwick noted.