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The Basics

  • Washington lawmakers reached an accord on a new state budget Thursday
  • Much of state government would shut down if the Legislature fails to approve the $33.6 billion, two-year spending proposal by Monday
  • Legislators hope to approve it before state employees leave work Friday


OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Washington lawmakers have reached a long-sought accord on a new state budget that would avert furloughs of state employees.

Legislative leaders hope to give final approval of the measure before state employees leave work Friday.

The $33.6 billion, two-year spending proposal was still unavailable for public review Thursday afternoon.

Gov. Jay Inslee says the deal makes it clear that state government will continue to operate.

Budget negotiators said they were confident the measure would swiftly make it through the Legislature.

A budget deal means Gerri Boyer's prayers are answered.

Her husband and daughter work for the state and received potential layoff notices.

She's also the director of the Trinity Lutheran Bible Camp.

For 37 years the church has used the campgrounds at Millersylvania State Park south of Olympia.

A closure of the park under a shutdown would have likely canceled the camp.

Every time I did have that thought I pushed it out and prayed, said Boyer.

Lawmakers said the final plan puts an additional $1 billion toward the state's basic education system in response to a state Supreme Court ruling that determined lawmakers weren't adequately funding schools.

While overall spending would rise by 8 percent, K-12 education spending would rise more than 11 percent.

A Senate spokesperson said the budget will mean smaller class sizes for kindergartners and first graders.

All day kindergarten would be paid for in the state's highest poverty districts.

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