The Legislature’s budget negotiators have reached a tentative deal on how much the state should spend over the next four years, Gov. Jay Inslee’s budget director said.
After a week of bargaining in Inslee’s office, negotiators now must talk to the lawmakers they represent to make sure the spending level is acceptable. If it holds up, the agreement on a key point of contention could break the logjam that has kept the Legislature in Olympia into a second special session.
Negotiators would then resume meeting to hammer out hundreds of details about the budget, which Inslee’s budget director, David Schumacher, said is likely to take at least a week.
Lead negotiators left the talks without comment. Schumacher declined to say what spending level they settled on.
“It’s about halfway between the two budgets. That’s how compromise works,” he said.
The most recent public offer from the Democrat-controlled House called for $38.4 billion in two-year spending from the state’s main budget, while the Republican-controlled Senate offered $37.7 billion.
Schumacher would not say whether new taxes are a part of the deal shaping up.