Washington state lawmakers still haven’t come up with a budget to close a $1 billion deficit after a special session that lasted more than a week.
The Legislature is still grappling with a spending plan for the rest of the two-year cycle after Senate Republicans and three Democrats used a special tactic to pass their own budget three weeks ago.
That budget did not get far in a Legislature led by a majority of Democrats, and Democratic Gov. Christine Gregoire called a special session following an impasse during the regular session.
Some Democrats disagree with cuts to education in proposed versions of the budget, while Republicans would like to see deeper cuts to state spending.
If lawmakers are unable to agree on a plan, Gregoire may be forced to call another special session.
Earlier in the process House Democrats proposed a plan that would delay more than payments to schools and would also cut spending for local governments and socials services.
In addition, it would set aside $500 million for the state’s reserves.
In December, the governor signed a bill passed during an emergency legislative session enacting $480 million of cuts to the biennial budget.
Gregoire called the special session to address a projected $1.4 billion shortfall.