Spin Control

Spec Sess Day 28: Budget deal done

Rep. Ross Hunter, D-Medina, the House Ways and Means Committee chairman, says Monday a budget deal has been struck, but details won't be available until Tuesday. (Jim Camden/The Spokesman-Review)
Rep. Ross Hunter, D-Medina, the House Ways and Means Committee chairman, says Monday a budget deal has been struck, but details won't be available until Tuesday. (Jim Camden/The Spokesman-Review)

Rep. Ross Hunter tells reporters Monday there's a deal on the operating budget, but it won't be released until Tuesday.

OLYMPIA -- Budget negotiators have reached deal on the 2011-13 operating budget, Sen. Ed Murray, D-Seattle confirmed late this morning.

"The good news is we have a budget. The bad news is it's a painful budget with some deep cuts," Murray said.

Don't ask what's in it yet. The contents will be released to legislators Tuesdsay morning, tentatively at 9 a.m., and to the public about an hour later. In the meantime, it has to go to the printer.

"I'm not going to discuss details," Rep. Ross Hunter, D-Medina, repeated a half-dozen times as reporters questioned him in the House wings.

Negotiators reached an agreement and shook hands about 11 p.m. Sunday. Staff is going over the details to make sure what negotiators agreed to is what they thought they agreed to. "There will not be any big issues that block us from solving it," Hunter said.

Negotiators had been meeting every evening until 10 or 11 p.m., he said. "There were a couple of moments when theings were a little testy," he said.

Asked whether the budget will get strong support from both parties in both houses, Hunter said: "It will get at least 76 votes." Which is to say, at least 50 votes in the House, 25 in the Senate and the governor's signature.




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Jim Camden
Jim Camden is the Olympia bureau chief, covering the Legislature and state government. He also is a political columnist and blogger for Spin Control.

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