UPDATE: Washington Lawmakers To Talk Budget, Gay Marriage - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

UPDATE: Washington Lawmakers To Talk Budget, Gay Marriage

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - Washington state lawmakers gathered Monday for a new legislative session that is expected to include a broad revamp of government spending and a close review of whether the state should legalize gay marriage.

Budget negotiators are already working towards the Legislature's main task of closing a roughly $1 billion projected budget shortfall, even though both parties have widely differing views on the best approach.

In December, Gov. Chris Gregoire proposed spending cuts that included a shortened school year, the elimination of social services for thousands of low-income residents and the early release of some prisoners.

House Republican Leader Richard DeBolt of Chehalis said that tax proposal would simply be a Band-Aid on a severed arm and that his party wants to reshape and refocus government.

 

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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