OLYMPIA – Budget leaders for House and Senate Democrats reached a tentative deal Thursday on a compromise for a record state operating budget of more than $52 billion.
But some details are still being worked out, and the spending plan won’t be released to the public until Saturday, less than 48 hours before the Legislature is scheduled to adjourn for the year.
On partisan votes, majority Democrats in the House and Senate have each passed operating budgets that cover the majority of state programs and employee salaries, including public schools, state colleges, social services, mental health and corrections.
The House budget is $52.8 billion and the Senate budget $52.2 billion. Either figure is above the projected revenue for the next two years, and the state budget must balance, so new taxes would be needed to cover any projected deficit. The House Finance Committee will hold a hearing on tax proposals Friday morning.
Votes on the budget, any new taxes and any other legislation that is tied to the final budget would have to pass both chambers by midnight Sunday, or lawmakers would be called into a special session.
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