NASELLE - Naselle Youth Camp remains safe following Gov. Chris Gregoire's final action Tuesday on Washington's 2009-11 biennial operating budget.
The governor vetoed a number of items in the budget approved by the Legislature last month, but nothing she did had any affect on provisions relating to the Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration.
As required by lawmakers, JRA will have to decide whether to recommend closure of the Maple Hill or Green Hill youth facilities in Lewis County, but may not consider closing Naselle.
Naselle Youth Camp is subject to generalized small-scale cutbacks implemented throughout JRA, which involve a statewide drop of 30 places for troubled youth. It remains to be seen exactly how many of these might come from Naselle and how the camp will adjust to changes in its relationship with the Department of Natural Resources.
In approving the overall budget, Gregoire said, "This was the toughest legislative session in nearly 30 years, and maybe the toughest since the Great Depression. In the weeks, months and years to come, Washingtonians will feel the effects of the hard choices we were required to make - along with nearly every other state - after the mortgage and financial crisis set off this deep recession. Everyone will need to sacrifice."
The budget signed by the governor includes:
? Savings through administrative reductions and efficiencies in state agencies.
? Reductions in payments provided for hospital reimbursement.
? Savings by making a more than 40 percent reduction to the Basic Health Plan, which provides health coverage to low-income individuals.
? Savings by imposing additional Temporary Assistance to Needy Families caseload management strategies and reducing administrative costs.
? Funding for 3 percent in medical inflation costs for state employee health benefits each of the next two fiscal years, which is less than the projected rate of approximately 7 percent.
? No funding for salary increases for represented or non-represented state and higher education employees.
? No funding for cost-of-living adjustments for K-12 and certain community and technical college staff.
? Reduction in the Initiative 728 per-student allocations to K-12 school districts.
? Savings by modifying state pension contributions.
"These reductions will require everyone to sacrifice," Gregoire said. "I know that cuts this size will have real effects on the people of our state."
In addition to the $4.4 billion in reductions over three years, the operating budget uses federal stimulus funds, transfers from the capital budget, part of the rainy day fund and other fund transfers.
The governor vetoed a number of portions of the budget, including a provision that would have taken $29 million from the state auditor's performance audit fund, as well as a provision that would have tied the auditor's funding to results of performance audits. The auditor has agreed to hold in reserve $15 million in performance audit funds, which will be transferred to the general fund during the next legislative session.