Government Accountability & Reform Milestone Timeline

Governor Chris Gregoire is committed to building trust and confidence in state government. Learn more about the actions the Governor has taken to deliver on this commitment.

Year Initiative Short Summary Resources
2012 Legislative session ends Gov. Gregoire lauds passage of the marriage equality bill and education reforms, and acknowledges disagreement in the Legislature over how to close the budget deficit over the next few years. News release
2011 New strategies to reform state government Gov. Gregoire, in a continuing effort to reduce costs and make state government more efficient, outlines a series of reform measures she will present to the Legislature to help fill a $2 billion budget deficit. News release
Reform package
Executive order
2011 State agencies ordered to cut administrative costs Gov. Gregoire issues Directive 11-18 to cut costs and improve how state agencies do business. It calls for cutting the number of cellular devices and the state’s vehicle fleet, as well as standardizing home assignment and personnel policies. The directive incorporates several suggestions from state employees to save taxpayer money. News release
2011 Budget reduction alternatives announced Gov. Gregoire presents a list of budget reduction alternatives as a starting point to the conversation lawmakers must engage in to resolve the state’s budget deficit. News release
Budget Reduction Alternatives
2011 Gov. Gregoire extends rule moratorium Gov. Gregoire signs an Executive Order 11-03 extending the state’s moratorium on non-critical rule making. As a result of the previous year’s moratorium, Cabinet agencies put 436 rules – about half of what was proposed – on hold. News release
Executive order
2011 State agency consolidation is official The most significant transformation of state agencies in 20 years will be made official as all or part of 5 state agencies complete their merger into 3 agencies. This consolidation will save taxpayers $18.3 million in the 2011-13 biennium. News release
2011 Consolidation of state agencies takes shape Gov. Gregoire moves ahead with a plan to consolidate all or parts of 5 state agencies into 3 agencies and appoints a transition team to oversee the process. The functions of the Department of General Administration, Department of Personnel, State Printer and Department of Information Services will be merged into the new Department of Enterprise Services or new Consolidated Technology Services. News release
2011 Gov. Gregoire signs 2011-13 budget “Nearly a year ago, faced with struggling revenues and surging needs for state services, I formed the Transforming Washington’s Budget Committee and asked the public for ideas about how to close the state’s budget shortfall. Their suggestions were straightforward and required bold action: improve efficiency, consolidate agencies, pay for services with user fees and tackle the budget’s growing costs. Today I signed a budget that does all of those things.“ News release
2011 Government reform and cost-saving measures signed into law Cost-saving measures and government reforms are signed into law. They will end automatic annual pay increases now provided for those under the state’s oldest pension plans, saving the state $368 million over the next biennium; suspend the presidential primary election in 2012, saving the state $10 million; and set up a user-pay system to ensure a sustained funding source for some state services, including state parks. News release
2011 State IT consolidation proposed Governor proposes to create a new “charter” agency, Consolidated Technology Services, to privatize and further standardize the basic technology that state agencies use. News release
Policy brief
2010 2011-13 budget proposed to transform state government Deep cuts are made across all areas of state government. The most significant are the Basic Health Plan, Disability Lifeline, Student Achievement Program, employee salary increases, K-4 class-size reduction funds, state employee compensation, elimination of state funding for state parks. News release
2011-13 Proposed Budget
2010 Plan to consolidate state agencies, eliminate boards and commissions Gov. Gregoire, with members of the Transforming Washington’s Budget committee, announces her intention to consolidate state agencies and eliminate boards and commissions to cut costs and streamline state government. Gregoire’s proposals would reduce the number of state agencies included in her consolidation plan from 21 to 9, and are expected to save nearly $30 million while reducing the number of state positions. News release
2010 Agreement with unions for a 3% pay reduction Gov. Gregoire announces she has reached a tentative labor agreement to reduce state employees’ pay by 3%. News release
2010 Performance-based contracts Gov. Gregoire signs an executive order directing state agencies to base all their new contracts on performance and to provide incentives and consequences to ensure that agreed-upon value to the state, and taxpayer, is received. Executive order
News release
2010 Governor expresses disappointment over voter repeal of soda and candy sales tax “There’s no doubt I’m disappointed that voters decided to repeal the temporary sales tax recently imposed on soda and candy. We are currently closing a $520 million budget gap and going into the next biennium we face at least a $4.5 billion shortfall. The additional cuts we will have to make due to this loss of revenue will have significant consequences." News release
2010 First-year progress report: Natural resource agency reforms are changing state business practices Gov. Gregoire highlights the work of the state’s natural resource agencies, which have used reform measures to provide better customer service, cut costs, and cut red tape so citizens can find information faster. News release
2010 Across-the-board cuts Gov. Gregoire announces across-the-board cuts of 6.3% following this morning’s revenue forecast of a $520 million deficit for the remainder of the 2009-11 biennium. News release
2010 State agencies open “One Front Door to Washington’s Outdoors” online Gov. Gregoire and Commissioner of Public Lands announce a new online service making it easier for people and businesses to find what they need from Washington’s natural resources agencies. News release
2010 Responses to budget ideas posted on website Gov. Gregoire posts video responses to the most popular budget suggestions offered recently on her budget ideas website. News release
2010 Next steps for state budget Gov. Gregoire announces steps to address a potential shortfall in the state budget and directs agencies to prepare for the expected budget gap in the 2011-13 biennium. News release
2010 New budget ideas website Gov. Gregoire launches an interactive website that allows citizens to share, comment and vote on budget ideas. The most highly rated ideas by viewers will rise to the top of the list and be considered by budget writers. News release
2010 State budget hearings start in Tacoma To develop Gov. Gregoire’s budget for 2011–13, the Office of Financial Management has scheduled 4 hearings to present information on the Governor’s priorities and to solicit input from citizens, who are invited to attend and testify. News release
2010 Plan to "Transform Washington's Budget" Gov. Gregoire unveils a new budget-building process that features a series of critical questions state agencies must answer to ensure spending is related to an essential function of state government. News release
2010 State agency receives national award for document revision The Department of Labor and Industries wins the 2010 national award for “Best Revised Document from a Public Agency” in a competition sponsored by the Center for Plain Language in Washington, D.C. News release
2010 Gov. Gregoire signs reforms to streamline environmental, land use administrative appeals Laws will execute key strategies recommended in her 2009 natural resources reform initiative to streamline and simplify environmental land use appeal processes. News release
2009 Governor announces additional measures to reform state government As part of her 21st Century Government Reform initiative, the Governor signs an executive order eliminating 17 boards and commissions and announces she'll introduce legislation to eliminate an additional 78. She also introduces legislation to reduce or eliminate one-third of 64 small Cabinet agencies through mergers or realignments. News release
Executive order
2009 Governor signs responsible budget for tough times 2009-11 biennial budget enacts a responsible spending plan that addresses potential $9 billion shortfall for coming 2-year period. News release
2009 Gov. Gregoire signs bills to achieve savings Senate Bill 5460 imposes belt-tightening measure across state government, and House Bill 1694 takes early action to reduce spending during current fiscal year. News release
2008 New website launched Gov. Gregoire unveils her new interactive website with accessibility features and easier navigation capability. It also invites feedback from the public on budget-savings suggestions. News release
2008 Public input sought on budget priorities Gov. Gregoire urges Washingtonians to visit her website and offer suggestions as she works to solve a multi-billion dollar budget shortfall. News release
2008 Council of State Governments awards 2 Washington state agencies highest honors Gov. Gregoire announces Council of State Governments awards to GMAP, the state's Government Management Accountability and Performance program, and the Transportation Improvement Board. News release
2008 Gov. Gregoire announces plans for $330 million in budget savings Gov. Gregoire announces actions to save $330 million in the current budget, increasing the budget surplus for the biennium that ends June 30, 2009, to more than $850 million. News release
2008 State achieves strong bond ratings Gov. Gregoire announces that Washington earned an “AA” rating from Fitch Ratings and an “AA+” rating from Standard & Poors, two international bond rating firms. News release
2008 Pacific Coast leaders build regional collaboration A new Pacific Coast collaborative agreement among Washington, Oregon, California, Alaska and British Columbia will offer a forum for leadership, mutual action and a common voice on issues affecting the region. News release
2008 Accountability program receives prestigious recognition Gov. Gregoire’s accountability program GMAP (Government Management Accountability and Performance) is selected as a Top 50 program by Harvard’s Kennedy School. GMAP holds state agencies responsible for their performance and shows citizens that their tax dollars are being wisely invested. News release
2008 Gov. Gregoire’s statement on U.S. Supreme Court ruling on state primary elections Governor praises the court on its decision to uphold Washington's primary law. News release
2008 Washington earns top rating for managing public resources Washington earns a prestigious A- ranking by The Pew Center on the States for its performance in managing public resources. News release
2007 Grants to help businesses track permits Gov. Gregoire announces $175,000 in grants to develop electronic permit tracking systems. The tracking system will allow businesses and local leaders to find timely information about the status of land use and development projects in Washington. News release
2007 Governor calls for special session on property taxes The Governor calls for a special session to address implications of the overturn of the 1% property tax increase limit (Initiative 747) by the court. Letter
2007 Eastern Washington Advisory Council The council organizes itself in response to the Governor’s request to hear from its members on a regular basis on issues of concern to Eastern Washingtonians. News release
2007 Innovations in Washington state government yield results citizens can count on Governor’s accountability program GMAP receives national recognition from the Council of State Governments. News release
2007 Governor delivers on promise to reduce middle management Gov. Gregoire delivers on her promise to cut 1,000 mid-management positions from the state government payroll. News release
2007 State government efficiency hotline set up The Governor signs a law to create a toll-free telephone number so citizens and public employees can recommend improvements to boost efficiency in state and local government, report abuse and recognize achievements. News release
2006 Governor's budget proposal released Gov. Gregoire announces her 2007-09 budget proposal, which includes investments and substantial reforms in Washington's education system, and expands health care coverage to 32,000 children. News release
2006 Rainy Day Fund Gov. Gregoire announces she will create a state rainy day fund to get Washington "off the budget rollercoaster." Legislation is passed 2 months later. News release
2006 Governor releases her first Report to Citizens Governor releases the inaugural Report to Citizens, a first step to measure government effectiveness and hold government accountable for results. News release
2005 Targeted investments and fiscal responsibility Gov. Gregoire sends to legislators her budget proposal that reflects her commitment to fiscal responsibility and makes targeted investments in early learning, high school standards, energy assistance, emergency preparedness and Puget Sound cleanup. News release
2005 Gov. Gregoire rolls out system to improve service to communities Gov. Gregoire unveils a system for improved coordination among 8 state agencies as they work with cities and counties. The effort ensures that state participation in local planning activities is timely, helpful and effective. Called correspondence principles, the actions minimize conflicts and resolve disagreements. News release
2005 BRAC recommendations Gov. Gregoire lauds most Washington state recommendations by BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure Commission) but filed suit over Air National Guard aircraft. News release
2005 Independent citizen board to oversee performance audits appointed Gov. Gregoire appoints 5 citizens to the 10-member board charged with making sure newly authorized performance audits focus on state services that matter most to citizens and result in real savings for taxpayers. News release
2005 Former UW president to lead Life Sciences Discovery Fund Gov. Gregoire appoints former University of Washington President Lee Huntsman as executive director of the Life Sciences Discovery Fund Authority. News release
2005 First chair of Life Sciences Discovery Fund named Gov. Gregoire appoints Dr. Lura Powell to chair the Life Sciences Discovery Fund Authority, the centerpiece of the governor’s groundbreaking plan to establish Washington as a leader in scientific research and development. News release
2005 Gov. Gregoire signs bills to make government more accountable Four bills will make Washington state government more accountable. One she requested requires state agencies to establish a government quality management, accountability and performance system, known as GMAP. Another require greater public involvement in the shaping of budget priorities. News release
2005 Gov. Gregoire signs bills overhauling elections Eight election reform bills are signed. These measures, including 5 recommendations by the Governor’s bipartisan Election Reform Task Force, make substantial improvements in Washington’s electoral process. News release
2005 Gov. Gregoire, Rep. Larsen, Washington congressional delegation make case for Washington's military bases to BRAC Commission The Governor and the entire congressional delegation sign the letter accompanying the report to urge the commission to adhere to the BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure Commission) criteria and put military value first. News release
2005 Gov. Gregoire issues report on her first 100 days in office Gov. Gregoire issues a report of her accomplishments in the first 100 days of her term highlighting actions on the state budget, education, health care, government accountability and other issues. News release
2005 Washington is finalist for Harvard Innovation in Government Award Washington state’s Priorities of Government approach to budgeting is named a finalist in competition for Harvard University’s “Innovations in Government Award.” News release
2005 Governor cuts number of middle managers and abolishes programs Gov. Gregoire announces a “change in the culture of state government,” including eliminating 1,000 middle-management positions, applying bulk-buying requirements for state agencies and cutting a number of government programs. News release
2005 Washington places 3rd nationally in management of state government Gov. Gregoire commends the state for ranking 3rd in the nation, earning a B+, for management of state government. News release
2005 Governor introduces government accountability legislation The program, called Government Management Accountability and Performance (GMAP), will build on the Priorities of Government approach, the award-winning initiative to tie budget decisions to priorities. The proposal requires state agencies to develop data-driven management and performance systems to measure the effectiveness of how state services are delivered. News release
2005 Governor orders review of Department of Corrections Gov. Gregoire commissions independent reviews of 4 major aspects of the Department of Corrections’ operations to understand the department's greatest challenges and information needed to address them. News release
2005 Governor issues executive order on 'Plain Talk' Governor orders the use of Plain Talk principles in materials agencies prepare. Plain Talk uses clear language that is commonly used by the intended audience and is presented in a logical sequence. Executive order
2005 Procedures outlined for making exempt appointments Governor commits to the principles of equal opportunity, and establishing and maintaining an environment that supports diversity in all work groups. Directive
2005 "Building a Legacy, Together": Gov. Gregoire's inaugural address "It is up to us to live up to the legacy that was left for us, and to leave a legacy that is worthy of our children and of future generations." Speech