SAN FRANCISCO — Washington lawmakers passed a supplemental budget, finishing a marathon session early Wednesday morning after weeks of deadlock.
Legislators had been working for months, and through two special sessions, to try to close a budget gap projected at around $1 billion.
"Reaching this point wasn't easy. And it couldn't have been, given that we've already cut $10.5 billion from our state budget over the past three years," Gov. Christine Gregoire said in a statement following the vote.
The long delay is unlikely to have any direct impact on the state's credit, though some of the budget maneuvers could.
"The delay itself is less a credit concern to us at this point because the state retains good access to financial liquidity in its treasury and treasurer's trust funds," said Standard & Poor's analyst Gabriel Petek. However, Petek said the state's rating could come under pressure if the deficit is mostly filled by using payment deferrals or other one-time measures.
The spending agreement appeared to rely mainly on one-time fixes, including deferrals of local sales taxes, to close the shortfall.
Gregoire had pushed lawmakers to close the budget hole. She called an emergency session in December to try to fill the shortfall, which resulted in nearly $500 million of cuts, and then another special session last month to finish the job.
The legislature could not get the supplement budget passed by Tuesday, the end of the first 30-day special session, so Gregoire called them back for a one-day session.
The gridlock grew worse last month when Senate Republicans and three Democrats used a special tactic to pass their own budget three weeks ago.
Some Democrats disagreed with cuts to education in proposed versions of the budget, while some Republicans had been looking for deeper cuts.
Earlier plans included delaying payments to schools and cutting spending for local governments and social services.