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Originally published April 8, 2011 at 4:01 AM | Page modified April 8, 2011 at 12:32 PM

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Labor groups to hold major rally at Washington State Capitol

Thousands of people are expected to gather at the state Capitol to urge lawmakers to spare public programs from deep budget cuts as they seek to address a looming $5 billion deficit.

The Associated Press

OLYMPIA, Wash. —

Thousands of people are expected to gather at the state Capitol to urge lawmakers to spare public programs from deep budget cuts as they seek to address a looming $5 billion deficit.

Friday's rally caps several days of boisterous demonstrations in Olympia over proposed spending cuts that labor groups say will place an unfair burden on working families. They say the state should end corporate tax breaks before slashing much-needed services.

House lawmakers plan to vote in the next day or two on a budget proposal that would reduce state spending by $4.4 billion for the 2011-2013 budget cycle. Senate leaders will unveil their own plan next week.

If organizers' predictions are correct, the rally would be the largest at the Capitol since tens of thousands of Washington teachers assembled in 2003 to protest cuts to education funding.

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