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Washington Governor, Lawmakers Announce Budget Agreement

Austin Jenkins
Northwest News Network
Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced a bipartisan budget deal at a news conference Saturday June 27, 2015.

If you have plans to visit a Washington State Park over the Fourth of July, Washington Gov. Inslee has a message for you.

“You’ll be able to go that park next weekend,” Inslee said. “I wouldn’t tell you that if I didn’t believe it was going to happen.”

Washington lawmakers will convene a third special session at noon Sunday. This time they have a budget deal that Inslee says will avert a partial government shutdown Wednesday.

Credit Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network
Northwest News Network
Washington State Rep. Vincent Buys (R-Lynden) played violin in the halls of the capitol in Olympia as reporters staked out late-night budget negotiations Friday June 26, 2015

Money runs out for parks and other state functions Tuesday. With the clock running out legislative leaders and the governor negotiated into the wee hours Saturday morning to get a budget deal.

“Washingtonians deserve a good, solid bipartisan budget,” Inslee told reporters Saturday afternoon. “This consensus delivers to Washingtonians a good, solid bipartisan budget.”

Inslee wouldn’t release many details Saturday. But a one-page handout said the budget will put more than $1 billion into basic education, reduce college tuition and close some yet-to-be named tax breaks.

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."