OLYMPIA – The Legislature approved a two-year budget late Saturday, with Democrats and Republicans arguing into the night over a blueprint that would whack $4 billion from education, health care and social services.
The budget calls for spending about $35 billion through mid-2011. Budget writers cut, transferred and juggled their way through a $9 billion deficit.
About $5 billion of the shortfall was made up with federal money, raids of outside accounts and other one-time fixes. The balance was covered with cuts that hit virtually every area of government. Nearly $830 million would be left in reserves.
Senate approval came on a nearly party-line 29-20 vote Saturday night, sending the plan to Gov. Chris Gregoire for final approval.