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With no budget solutions in sight, Wash. lawmakers begin session

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Washington state lawmakers begin their 2012 session with no agreement in sight for how to solve major budget shortfall.

In the House of Representatives Monday, leaders from both parties laid out different visions for how they would balance the budget.

Democratic House Speaker Frank Chopp listed the major topics for the 60-day session.

“We must rededicate ourselves as representatives of the people as we confront the most challenging economic condition since the great depression," he said. "As we begin another session we should keep in mind five goals. Create jobs now, fund basic education, save the safety net, ensure equality, and provide opportunity.”

House Republican Leader Richard DeBolt responded with frustration that lawmakers have not yet found a budget solution. DeBolt said the Republicans agree with Democrats on some issues like the need to fund basic education and create jobs.

But he said the Republicans oppose the Democratic move to raise Washington taxes to help balance the budget.

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Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network