OLYMPIA — The House passed the state's “middle action” supplemental budget, shrinking the state's projected deficit with some $242 million in cuts.
In a 55-41 vote along partisan lines, the House gave final approval to the bill, which now goes to Gov. Chris Gregoire for her signature.
Democrats argued it was an imperfect bill. “There's certainly something in this budget for everyone to hate,” House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan said.
Republicans contended it took money from education, which is the state's paramount duty under the state Constitution, and gave it to social programs that aren't working well. “This budget is living in the past. It lacks the substantive reform needed to move into the future,” Rep. Kevin Parker, R-Spokane, said.