Washington Legislature
6:10 am
Tue March 6, 2012

Tension Lingers After Coup In Washington Senate

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Tension lingers in Olympia as Washington legislators head into what is supposed to be the last week of session. The task of re-balancing the state budget was put into disarray on Friday when Republicans and centrist Democrats took over the state Senate.

Senate Republican Leader Joseph Zarelli says he doubts a compromise budget can happen before the scheduled adjournment on Thursday.

“I don’t know how we’ll get a budget done by the end of this so we’re pretty much assured, I think, we’re going to see a special session,” Zarelli says.

But Democratic House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan is a bit more optimistic.

“We’re working on trying to bring about a compromise that will get 25 votes in the Senate and 50 votes in the House and will allow us to adjourn on time,” Sullivan says.

Sullivan points out that Democrats remain firmly in control of the state House. In the Washington Senate, lead budget writer Ed Murray says the Democratic leaders will propose a revised budget shortly to see if it can win any swing votes. Meanwhile, a group of about 50 protesters organized by a labor union protested social service cuts in the republican version of the budget Monday evening.

Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network