Give us details, Governor, how to fix $2.6B budget shortfall
This editorial appears in the Jan. 14, 2010, Yakima Herald-Republic. Forceful, eloquent, ambitious -- for Democrats, those are words that aptly describe Gov.
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#1 Jan 16, 2010
Quick Facts About the Washington Main Street Program:
 More than 90 organizations representing communities throughout Washington are receiving assistance through the WSMSP. See the attached Tier System list for all participating organizations and communities.
 There are 11 certified Main Street™ communities (3 were added in July of 2008). The local Main Street organizations in these communities are accredited yearly by the WSMSP using national criteria. These organizations also serve as models, catalysts, and resources for neighboring communities wishing to undertake successful downtown revitalization.(Bainbridge Island, Chelan, Ellensburg, Kennewick, Mount Vernon, Olympia, Port Angeles, Port Townsend, Puyallup, Walla Walla, and Wenatchee).
 Every $370 invested by the State into the WSMSP has yielded one new job in a local Main Street district. Every $1 invested by the State into the WSMSP has also yielded an average of $96 in private investment in a local Main Street district.(Data from December, 2009)
 Cumulatively since 1991, Washington’s local Main Street districts have generated over $413 million in new private sector investment, 11,810 new jobs, and 3,721 new and expanded businesses.(Data from December, 2009)
 Since it started in 1986, the program’s annual Downtown Revitalization Training Institute has helped equip more than 2,600 community leaders with the knowledge and tools needed to create vibrant, sustainable local economies.
Efforts to save the Washington State Main Street Program appear to be generating bipartisan support among legislators during the first week of the 2010 legislative session. Representative Dean Takko (D) from the 19th district, introduced House Bill 2704 co-sponsored by Representative Bill Hinkle (R) from the 13th district, on the opening day of the legislative session. By week’s end Senator Steve Hobbs (D) from the 44th district had introduced Senate Companion Bill 6507 with co sponsor Senator Janea Holmquist (R) from the 13th district. Both bills are attracting bipartisan support. HB 2704 has been scheduled for public hearing in the House Committee on State Government & Tribal Affairs January 22, at 1:30 PM
In an effort to balance the state’s budget in the face of mounting deficits, Governor Chris Gregoire’s proposed budget would eliminate the Washington State Main Street Program (WSMSP), which serves more than 90 organizations representing communities throughout the state. The Main Street program’s budget was already cut by 75% as part of the 2009 budgeting process leaving just one staff person and a state general fund budget of about $120,000 to serve all of the communities participating in the state’s Main Street network.
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