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Senate Democrats unveil government reform ideas

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Senate Democrats are unveiling a series of reform ideas that won't bank much money for the state's immediate budget problem, but which they say will save hundreds of millions of dollars in the coming years.

The lawmakers suggested nearly 50 ideas Thursday, but acknowledged that only a few are likely to be pursued during the 60-day legislative session that began Monday.

Those ideas include consolidating K-12 employee health insurance programs, which they estimated could save up to $90 million a year. They also want to strengthen the ability to identify fraud and abuse in the Medicaid system, which could save about $1.6 million for the next two-year budget that ends in 2017.

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