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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eye On Olympia

“We have a deal” — and the public can see it in a couple days?

Lawmakers, as has been written, reached agreement on the budget last night.

$4 billion in cuts, we're told. People will die. Big tuition hikes. Cuts to the Basic Health Plan, to mental health, to hospitals, to the social safety net. "Everything got whacked," one lawmaker says.

And it looks (see below) like there will be no major tax hike to offset cuts.

But how deep do those cuts go? And to what, exactly? How many layoffs? How deep will the cuts be to schools? How high will tuition go? Nobody's talking.

And the weirdest moment of the day came a few minutes ago, when most of the state's capitol press corps and a TV crew were clustered around the Senate Democrats' door (closed), waiting for a lawmaker to emerge and tell us what the hell's going on.

Then on the other side of the door: drums. The strumming of a guitar. Some keyboards. And singing. It was, we were told, the time for the legislative interns to perform a song.


Short takes and breaking news from the Washington Legislature and the state capital.