HEADLINES : Washington
Wash. state budget dispute spills out into public
The simmering dispute over how to fix Washington's budget shortfall spilled into the public Wednesday as both sides in the lengthy quest tried to spin public opinion in their favor.
Negotiations have largely been operating behind the scenes for months. But with the end of the latest special session looming early next week, Democrats and Republicans alike held news conferences in which they touted the concessions they've made throughout the process.
House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan, D-Covington, said it was frustrating that a GOP-led coalition in the Senate has been focused on policy issues.
"We haven't had the ability to actually negotiate the budget itself," Sullivan said.
Republican Sen. Joe Zarelli argued that the latest Democratic proposal in some ways moved the two sides further apart because it made the budget less sustainable over the long term. He argued that his side had conceded plenty in the negotiations.
"We've moved significantly, but we're not going to just fold the tent and go home," he said.