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Originally published Friday, April 5, 2013 at 7:00 PM

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Wash. Senate begins debating budget plan

State senators have started debate on a proposed budget.

Associated Press

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OLYMPIA, Wash. —

State senators have started debate on a proposed budget.

Lawmakers began discussions Friday night after considering a range of amendments. The proposed measure relies on spending cuts and fund transfers to balance the budget and add new money to the state's basic education system. A Republican-dominated coalition in the Senate wanted a budget that didn't increase taxes.

Democrats proposed a variety of amendments to the budget, seeking to add even more money to education and restore some money to social services programs. Republican Sen. Andy Hill said the budget includes hard decisions but also focuses spending on state priorities.

Lawmakers face a shortfall exceeding $1 billion along with a court mandate to increase funding for basic education.

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