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Government and Politics
Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Washington Legislature. Austin Jenkins is the Olympia correspondent for the Northwest News Network. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

Stand-Off In Olympia Before Budget Negotiations Even Begin

Tricky negotiations loom in Olympia over Washington's next two-year budget.

The Washington House and Senate will soon begin to negotiate a new two-year budget, but first they have to get past a roadblock.

That is that the Republicans have said they don’t want to negotiate with the Democrats in the House until the Democrats in the House pass the tax package that funds a bunch of their budget.

The Democrats are saying that’s not a reasonable or fair expectation. They have no intention of taking a tax vote until the final budget deal.

A new Elway Poll out Monday suggested Washington voters are as divided as the legislature. Forty-eight percent said they want to increase funding for public schools without new taxes, even if that means additional cuts to other services. Forty-three percent support raising some taxes to fund schools and avoid further cuts.

The margin of error is plus or minus 4.5 percent.