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House passes ‘partial downpayment’ budget

OLYMPIA -- The House of Representatives gave overwhelming support to a $480 million trim of the state's troubled General Fund budget, despite complaints by Republicans that it was too little and disappointing.

On an 86-8 bipartisan vote, the House members agreed this evening to a series of cuts and accounting maneuvers described as a first downpayment on the $2 billion Gov. Chris Gregoire said is needed to close the gap between incoming revenues and planned expenses for programs, policies and salaries.

The vote sends the budget to the Senate, which could vote on the plan Wednesday and bring the special session to a close. The rest of the cuts will have to be handled in a regular session that begins Jan. 9.

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Jim Camden
Jim Camden joined The Spokesman-Review in 1981. He is currently the political reporter and state government reporter in the newspaper's Olympia bureau office.

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