OLYMPIA -- Legislative budget negotiators appear to be running out of ways to describe how close they are to an agreement without actually reaching one.
Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom, D-Medina, described the sides simply as "so close" and unlike last week wouldn't venture a prediction as to when there would be an agreement. Lots of details to work out in a 500-page document, he said.
"More important than expediency is getting the job done right," Tom told reporters who are channeling Howie Mandel's question of deal or no deal?
An agreement may be close enough that legislative leaders are figuring out how they would announce the broad outlines to the budget then brief their members, but no times or locations for such announcements have been announced yet.
Meanwhile, the House is scheduled to take up another hot topic this afternoon, a transportation proposal that could raise gasoline taxes to pay for some new road and bridge projects and increase maintenance on others.