In one day—tomorrow—after just a short period of advance wrangling, the Washington State legislature is planning to cut $790 million from the state budget. Add that to about $200 million this state will be receiving in aid from the federal government, and about $200 million in cuts ordered by Governor Christine Gregoire, and all of a sudden Olympia has more than dealt with the current $1.1 billion state budget shortfall.
Not that it's going to be pretty. According to the Seattle Times:
The agreement, if approved by the Legislature, includes suspension of K-4 class-size payments and cuts in the Basic Health Plan, a subsidized insurance program for the working poor; and Disability Lifeline, a temporary safety net for people unable to work because of mental or physical disabilities. Also on the table is closure of McNeil Island Corrections Center.
Few details were available Thursday, but a list of cuts that leaders agreed to includes $51 million from higher education, nearly $50 million from K-12 education, about $49 million from the Department of Corrections and $17 million from natural resources.
There are no tax increases in the plan.
Plus! There will be an even bigger shortfall to deal with when the regular legislative session opens in January.