OLYMPIA, Wash. -- State budget negotiators say progress is being made toward a deal with one week before the current special session ends.
Democratic House Speaker Frank Chopp and Republican Sen. Joe Zarelli met with Gov. Chris Gregoire on Tuesday. No deal was reached, but Chopp and Zarelli both said they were making progress.
Zarelli acknowledged it would be logistically challenging to agree upon a budget deal and pass it before the current session expires. But he did not rule it out. He and Chopp shook hands while departing their meeting, and Zarelli said it was a positive discussion.
Gregoire's spokeswoman Karina Shagren said that "the door isn't closed yet to finishing on time."
House Democrats plan to bring up nine bills related to a potential budget deal for a public hearing on Wednesday.