There are so many "budget exercises" going on right now I guess I shouldn't be surprised people are conflating one with the other.
The governor's exercise: Earlier this month Gov. Inslee asked all state agencies--yes, we're an agency--to model a 15% budget cut. This is not an atypical request at the beginning of budget season. No one is sadder than I that it IS the beginning of budget season. Seems like we just finished a legislative session. Time to start a new one.
[Tangent Alert: Last week the state revenue forecast predicted the continued sluggish economic recovery for Washington. The expected increase in tax collections would not cover new costs that some believe must be covered. What you think has to be paid for tends to differ by party affiliation. However, many believe the state must invest another $1 billion in "basic education" to meet a mandate of the state Supreme Court. Retirement actuaries say that the typical state employee now living to be 84 instead of 83 will incur a debt of $4 billion to the retirement system--and so on and so on. Anyway, regardless of what you throw in the budget pot, it looks like the state will run short. Gov. Inslee's staff laid out the governor's perspectives in a PowerPoint last month.]
As I was saying before launching the tangent.....the governor has asked what a 15% cut would look like. The state's six public baccalaureate presidents have politely declined to respond to this request.
Next: The LEAN management" cut.