OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Gov. Jay Inslee has signed into law a legislative fix to a court ruling on the estate tax that was approved by the Legislature just hours before the state was to start issuing millions of dollars in refunds.

The Senate approved the measure on a 30-19 vote just before midnight after a full day of negotiations following passage by the House. The measure goes immediately to Gov. Jay Inslee for his signature.

Officials with the state Department of Revenue had said the state could have to pay out $160 million over the next two years if the fix isn't made to the law. The figure includes money lost through refunds and a decline in future collections.

Lawmakers were scrambling to reach a deal in time to prevent the first $13 million the state agency said it would have to send to 10 estates before a 9 a.m. court hearing on Friday. The measure passed Thursday night was a legislative workaround to last year's ruling by the state Supreme Court, which determined the estate tax did not apply to married couples who had used a certain type of trust in their estate planning.

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