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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."

Inslee Reluctant To Talk About Status Of Budget Negotiations

Austin Jenkins
Northwest News Network
Washington Governor Jay Inslee answers reporter questions following a bill signing ceremony Wednesday. The Democrat says he's reluctant to characterize the status of budget negotiations.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee said Wednesday there’s still “a lot of mileage to cover” as budget talks continue in Olympia. But he was reluctant to characterize where negotiations stand.

“My one rule right now is the less said about the status of these budget discussions, the better,” the governor said. “We obviously know there’s a looming deadline for legislators to act. We want them to talk in good faith. I’m trying to say as little as I can about it.”

On Friday, Inslee’s budget director said Democrats and Republicans had agreed on the size of the budget for the next two years. That represented a significant breakthrough.

But on Monday, a Senate Republican budget negotiator told reporters there is no agreement. Divisions over spending amounts and taxes have been the ongoing stumbling blocks.

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."