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Wash. Legislature passes budget proposal

The Seattle Times | by Rachel La Corte | April 11, 2012

OLYMPIA, Wash. - The Washington state Legislature approved a supplemental budget Wednesday, setting the stage for adjournment of a double overtime legislative session.

The Senate passed the measure on a 44-2 bipartisan vote, sending it to the governor for her signature. The House earlier passed the negotiated agreement on a 64-34 vote. Lawmakers worked through the early morning hours passing several bills before taking up the budget.

Sen. Ed Murray, Senate Democrats' lead budget writer, lauded the fact that lawmakers didn't make cuts to K-12 or higher education, as they have in past budgets.

"That's key," he said following the vote.

Gov. Chris Gregoire had called lawmakers back into a second special session at midnight Tuesday after they failed to complete their work by the end of the first 30-day special session.

The budget plan relies heavily on an accounting maneuver, valued at $238 million, in which the state would temporarily claim control of local sales taxes before they are redistributed back to jurisdictions at their usual time - roughly a month after they are collected. Some social safety net programs that were at risk of being cut were preserved.

 

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