OLYMPIA — The Senate gave strong bipartisan support to the state's $32.2 billion operating budget for 2011-13, and near unanimous suppoort to the $2.8 billion Capital Budget.
Senators praised one another for crossing party lines and working together to work out compromises on a budget that everyone could find something they didn't like.
“It's probably the most painful memory any of us have seen in years,” Sen. Ed Murray, the Democratic chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, said.
“One can always find a reason to say no,” Sen. Joe Zarelli, the Republican budget leader, said, but he urged GOP members to vote yes anyway. No one spoke against the budget, and in the end, 34 voted yes and 13 voted no.
The same budget passed the House Tuesday on a strictly party line vote.
The Capital Budget, which has projects large and small for communities around the state, was an easier sell. It passed 46-1. For a list of projects in the Spokane area, click here.