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WA Lege Day 25: House to counter Senate budget

OLYMPIA -- The next debate over the state's supplemental budget won't be between Republicans and Democrats as much as between the Senate and the House.

House leaders said Friday afternoon they will make changes to the spending plan the Senate sent them a few hours earlier. Among the changes they foresee: keeping cash grants for disabled residents on the Disablity Lifeline program and covering more low-income children through the Children's Health Plan.

Rep. Pat Sullivan, D-Covington, the House majorityi leader, said the two chambers are fairly close on some other issues, including finding a way to keep some state residents in the Basic Health Plan. But the House wants to do just one more supplemental budget that covers the entire shortfall, estimated at about $600 million by June 30. (Note: Due to a reporter's error, the blog originally misidentified Sullivan as head of the budget committee.)

The Senate called the budget it approved Friday an installment -- it leaves for later about $200 million much of which could be covered by the Legislature agreeing to delay state payments to schools from the last day of this biennium to the first day of the next biennium.

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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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