Inslee tells Army he opposes Lewis-McChord cuts

OLYMPIA — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is opposing personnel cuts at Joint Base Lewis McChord, saying they would hurt the economy.

The Army is studying the effects of force reductions at bases around the country. The review assumes a loss of about 16,000 soldiers and civilian workers at Lewis-McChord from the base’s peak staffing level in 2011. Lewis-McChord has already been reduced by about 5,400.

In a letter to Army officials Monday, Inslee said cuts of that size would have “grievous effects” on the state’s economy and threaten to undermine work related to habitat restoration, research and conservation.

Inslee also challenged an Army economic analysis that found the state would lose just $17.4 million in tax revenue through 2020. He says the figure could be four times that.

Members of Washington’s congressional delegation have also expressed concern about the cuts.

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