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WA Lege Day 48: Operating budget debate begins

OLYMPIA -- The Senate is beginning its debate on its budget proposal to fill the $2.8 billion gap in the state's operating budget.

First up is an amendment on home health care workers, sponsored by Republican. It goes down 26-16.

Next is an amendment by Sen. Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, to move $250,000 in funding for a school district reorganization committe and move it into free lunches for low-income children.

"If we have a quarter million dollars to add to the budget, let's add it to something that helps kids more than another study," Schoesler said.

Sen. Karen Fraser, D-Olympia, said the idea is to find out if the state could save tens of millions of dollars if the districts were managed better. The goal is to reduce administration, the goal is not to close any schools, but to find some savings for taxpayers. It fails on a voice vote.

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