OLYMPIA -- Several hundred protesters, some in wheelchairs and others being escorted by home care workers, are gathered on the north steps of the Capitol to protest further cuts in payments for Medicaid services.
They're also voicing support for the half-cent increase in the state sales tax, which Gov. Chris Gregoire is proposing to stave off an "all-cuts" budget to carry the state through the final 18 months of the two-year budget cycle.
The protesters' numbers are growing slowly as legislators gather inside for party caucuses before the official start to the special session at noon. They're calling for some mix of budget cuts and "revenue increases".