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Gov to release preliminary budget this afternoon

OLYMPIA -- Less than 48 hours after the special session to trim what's left of this year's budget, Gov. Chris Gregoire will release the first piece of her first proposal for the 2011-13 budget this afternoon at a 1:30 p.m. press conference. It deals with pensions and health care costs.

More details coming Tuesday before the big roll out Wednesday.

While this budget is never adopted in its entirety, it becomes a starting point for discussions that are expected to consume next year's legislative session. With the state's revenue outlook grim, it will essentiallly be a continuation of cuts approved Saturday.

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The Spokesman-Review's political team keeps a critical eye on local, state and national politics.