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It's a do-or-die week for Washington special session

It’s do-or-die week in the Washington Legislature. A budget deal will have to come together over the next several days if lawmakers are to finish business within the 30-day special session.House and Senate budget writers say they're making good progress toward a final agreement. Differences still remain on some spending levels. House Budget Chair Ross Hunter offers one example.

"We're pretty different on school funding, for example. We cut less in K-12 than the Senate does and we'll try and work that out. They cut less in other places than we do and so we have to balance out those set of decisions and we're all trying to solve the same problem."

Senate Budget Chair Ed Murray says things are "moving in a good direction toward compromise." But he says if there's no budget deal by this weekend it won't be logistically possible to get done within the 30-day special session window.

Even if the House and Senate can agree on a budget, other issues like changes to the state's injured workers' system could prompt the governor to call lawmakers back once more.


Copyright 2011 Northwest News Network

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy as well as the Washington State legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia." Prior to joining the Northwest News Network, Austin worked as a television reporter in Seattle, Portland and Boise. Austin is a graduate of Garfield High School in Seattle and Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut. Austin’s reporting has been recognized with awards from the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors, Public Radio News Directors Incorporated and the Society of Professional Journalists.