Inslee Presser–“B-F Counties…Very Disturbing Situations” (COVID)
Gov. Inslee began his press conference by announcing his budget cutbacks and pay freezes and furloughs, and also asked local and county courts to look for ways they can also slash budgets. There are related to the COVID related budget shortfall through 2023, now said to be $8.8 billion. His cuts add up to just over $1 billion maybe.
Inslee addressed Yakima County and Benton and Franklin Counties, saying their COVID infection rates are dangerous. He said he talked with business leaders in Yakima County and he claims opening businesses and economic relief "that is our goal."
But as often happens in virtually all of his press conferences, he followed it with a "but." He referred to the desire to get businesses going again in Yakima County as "eagerness" and did not address the hurting businesses and distress. He again referred to "the science" about getting COVID under control, implying businesses won't resume until that happens--like he had often before.
He referred to Benton-Franklin County as "also are sort of in the category of very disturbing situations."
He then broke for questions, including the legislative special session and state budget deficit. He claimed that instead of renegotiating state workers' contracts using the proposed furloughs will save the same amount of money.
As for the special session, "we can call one when it can be productive." He said there is supposedly not that kind of agreement in both chambers for that to happen. Inslee also dodged the question about potential state income and capitol gains taxes. He said he could not give an answer, and many decisions before that.
Around the 30 minute mark he made a jab at Donald Trump "followers" when it came to being pressed on potential new taxes. Inslee said "I am making decisions at the proper time...(moving ahead)...I'm not gonna jump to the tune of my critics and there's too many of them and they follow Donald Trump wherever he leads and I don't think that's productive."
To watch the press conference for yourself, click on the button below.