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Gregoire signs budget, seeks timeline on more cuts

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Gov. Chris Gregoire has approved a plan to ease the state's $1.4 billion shortfall.

Gregoire signed a new budget Tuesday that uses a variety of cuts, transfers and delayed payments to save $480 million.

She had asked lawmakers to fully fix the state's spending imbalance before Christmas and is now asking them to finish it early in the new year.

The budget will save $50 million by delaying school bus payments by several months and another $50 million by more quickly transferring unclaimed securities to the state's general fund. The plan will also impact jobs, including a variety of cuts at the Department of Ecology.

All sides expect the next round of reductions to be more grueling.

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