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.
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“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.