Senate OKs budget in final hours

first_imgClark County school officials pore over state budget detailsLocal projects funded in state’s capital budgetNewcomer Wylie played skepticWashington State LegislatureOLYMPIA — Washington lawmakers reached toward adjournment Wednesday night, finalizing budgets and a long list of lingering bills before the end of their 30-day overtime session.Less than two days after negotiators unveiled a deal on the state’s spending plan for the next two years, senators gave it final approval and sent it to the governor’s desk. Several bills passed in the final hours of the session, including one moving Washington closer to privatizing liquor, another that puts limits on the state’s debt and a contentious plan allowing outsourcing of some government services.“It’s been a lot of work for 30 days,” said House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan, D-Covington. Gov. Chris Gregoire had called lawmakers back to work for a month after they failed to finish a budget and key spending matters by the end of their regular 105-day session.The extra time cost taxpayers about $10,000 a day due to $90 daily stipends for lawmakers.Final discussions Wednesday night included one last moment of tension that threatened to stall adjournment. A large group of Democrats objected to a bill that consolidated services under one agency, complaining that a provision allowing the state to outsource certain services unfairly prevented state employees from competing for the work.That measure relied heavily on votes from Republicans to pass the House. Senate Republicans had said they wouldn’t pass the state’s new general budget without the bill.last_img read more