SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Washington state Governor Christine Gregoire submitted a state budget plan on Wednesday that would close a $2.6 billion deficit but that she described as "unjust" because of the spending cuts it would impose.
"Today I presented a budget proposal that while balanced is unjust," the Democratic governor said in a statement in which she signaled a potential tax increase.
"Because of our continuing economic troubles, state revenue is down and has resulted in a one year revenue shortfall of $2.6 billion," Gregoire said. "This reduction is on top of a $9 billion deficit that we tackled last year. As a result, I had to make decisions to cut programs and services that will impact all Washingtonians."
To mitigate cuts to programs for children, the elderly and public safety, Gregoire said she would review tax exemptions that could be repealed and would consider new sources of revenues, adding that next month she would submit another budget plan.
Democrats who control the state's legislature have already called for some form of tax increase.