I met today with Stan Marshburn, director of the Office of Financial Management. Marshburn is retiring after 36 years working in and around state government. Marshburn will be leaving next week, with his predecessor still yet to be named by Gov.-elect Jay Inslee.
Aside from his work in government, he has been influential in many other areas – most significantly for anyone reading this blog, Marshburn is one of the founders, along with U.S. Rep. Denny Heck, of TVW.
“The name we were originally kicking around was ‘WASHPAN,’ as opposed to CSPAN,” Marshburn said. “We actually got a letter from CSPAN’s legal department saying we couldn’t use that name.”
Probably for the best.
Marshburn said his interest in developing TVW came from a desire to publicize what went on in the Legislature. He and Heck had tossed the idea around a couple of times, but the catalyst which spurred them to action was a debate on the House floor in 1993 over sexual harassment laws.
“There were people in the aisles with tears in their eyes,” Marshburn said. “The emotion in the room was palpable. I said to Denny, ‘This should be getting better coverage than it is.’”
In April of 1995 TVW made history with the first-ever televised Washington state court proceeding.
“These guys work really hard here to make our government work,” Marshburn said. “I think it’s important that people see that. The passion that goes on within these walls is truly authentic.”
The Budget Proposal
Marshburn just finished work on Gov. Chris Gregoire’s final budget proposal. The state’s budget is perhaps more complicated than ever before because of recent demands by the state Supreme Court to fully fund basic education.
The greatest difficulty for Inslee’s incoming administration in developing their own budget proposal will be finding a set of common values, said Marshburn. He said that will require good communication between the governor’s office and the Legislature.
“There’s often this perception that we can keep spending more money without raising taxes,” Marshburn said. “That’s not how it works.”
“How’s this going to work? That’s the biggest question for the new governor,” Marshburn said.