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Gregoire signs new $35B state budget

OLYMPIA — Gov. Chris Gregoire has put the finishing touches on the recently concluded legislative session by signing into law a $35 billion, two-year state budget.

Tuesday is the last day of the governor’s bill-signing period, when Gregoire gives final approval to measures that passed the 2009 Legislature — or vetoes them. Lawmakers passed more than 500 bills this year.

The governor vetoed some sections of the budget, including a $29 million cut in the state auditor’s perfomance audit program. The auditor agrees to save about $15 million to help fill the budget deficit.

The budget bridges an estimated $9 billion deficit.