Gregoire Talks Winter Weather And Gay Marriage With KHQ's Alex R - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Gregoire Talks Winter Weather And Gay Marriage With KHQ's Alex Rozier

SPOKANE, Wash - In an interview with KHQ Local News on Thursday, Governor Chris Gregoire said conditions statewide are extremely "problematic" with 200,000 homes without power in the Seattle metro area alone. She said on the west side they expect warming temperatures by the end of Thursday, but says the state as a whole is not out of the woods just yet.
 
She declared a snow emergency last night primarily because of those carrying milk from dairys and farms for processing purposes. By federal law they are limited in the number of hours that they can be on the road and with road closures in many parts of the state it was stretching them to the point where they were going to be forced to dump their cargo and lose about a million dollars a day for the dairy industry.
 
She put on notice all state agencies to get ready, including mobile units for social and health services to help those who lose all their food during this snow emergency. She did dispatch the National Guard to shovel roofs in Spokane, particularly focusing on the schools so they don't cave in. She said they are standing ready at the state level to do whatever they can to assist but she said Washington residents need to focus on local emergency management.
 
"We're struggling but we are not in anyway limiting our resources," Gregoire said. "Public Safety is our number one call to action and we are doing all we can."

The governor said her team is unfortunately pretty experienced in dealing with severe storms and she is confident they are taking the lessons they've learned from storms past to aid them in the current weather.

She encouraged people to stay off the roads unless you have to be on them and be careful if you have any power outages.

The only times we are standing down are those in which we are putting our own workers at risk which we can't do," Gregoire said. "We are working 24/7, everybody's out on emergency call and they are out there doing their jobs."

The governor said they are not doing everything because they don't have an unlimited number of resources but they are doing everything in their power.

Governor On Gay Marriage: I'm Hopeful

Governor Gregoire says she's "hopeful" when it comes to the legalization of gay marriage in the state of Washington. The Senate is only one vote away from passing the legislation through after a conservative democrat who once opposed gay marriage came out in support of it on Thursday.

"I believe it's the time in our state and I think it's the right thing to do," Gregoire said. "But I don't need to underestimate, it isn't going to be assured that we will get it."

The governor says she feels good about where they are in the house and wants each representative and senator to at least give some time and thought to the issue.

"I'm really asking the legislature to have the same thoughtful, respectful discourse that I've tried to put in place," Gregoire said. "I reached the conclusion both with my faith and as governor, that for state government it's the right thing to do."

The governor says for her it comes to equal treatment for all.

"We need to stop discriminating and start respecting all the people and their families and let the children of the gay couples know that they're just as important as the children of any other couples in our state."

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