State Government
6:16 am
Wed January 12, 2011

Gregoire urges lawmakers to bust status quo

State lawmakers must embrace change and "be bold." That was Governor Chris Gregoire's chief message Tuesday in her State of the State address to a joint session of the legislature. 

Gregoire spoke to a packed House chamber. She began with a moment of silence for the victims of this past weekend's mass shooting in Arizona.

The governor then dove into a speech that balanced twin themes of optimism for the future with a reality check about the present.She warned lawmakers they'll have to make budget cuts this year that seem "unfair and unjust."

She chided the Democratically-controlled legislature, members of her own party, for too often clinging to the status quo.

I think voters are out ahead of us in understanding the need for change. Our voters sent us here to lead, to solve problems, to work together, to get things done and to be bold.

Gregoire's speech received muted applause.

Afterwards, one Democrat said lawmakers first have to catch up to where the governor is in terms of understanding the scope of the state’s $4.6 billion budget shortfall.

The governor's State of the State speech was televised by TVW.