first_imgSenate Democrats’ spending plan receives praise, criticismOLYMPIA — Democratic leaders throughout the Legislature are pushing the delay of hundreds of million dollars in payments as a solution to the state’s budget deficit, lawmakers said Tuesday.Senate budget writers unveiled their spending plan Tuesday morning, relying on that $330 million accounting maneuver to help fix a $1 billion problem. The Senate proposes to make the delayed payments permanent, meaning school districts that typically get a major disbursement at the end of June will instead get it in early July.The Senate plan is similar to a House proposal unveiled last week, which had about $400 million in delayed expenditures. Democratic Sen. Ed Murray said that shift in the calendar allowed lawmakers to avoid further cuts in education at a time when other legislators are looking at deeper reductions.“This is a game-changer,” Murray said. “We think part of the way of getting us out of this crisis is by funding, not cutting, education.”The spending proposal in the Senate would keep $370 million in reserves, less than the House plan that would leave a half billion dollars remaining.last_img

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