Washington state legislature
12:33 pm
Mon December 12, 2011

$479 million in cuts, transfers, delays indentified in state budget

OLYMPIA, Wash. — State lawmakers are looking to trim $479 million off the state's $1.4 billion shortfall through a combination of cuts, fund transfers and delayed payments.

Budget leaders are expected to take up the proposal Monday afternoon in hopes of sending it to the governor later this week. They will have to return in January to make deeper cuts.

The plan saves $50 million by delaying school bus payments for several months and $23 million by delaying new rules for mental health assessments. Lawmakers are able to count $83 million that went unspent at agencies last year and raise another $51 million by transferring unclaimed securities to the state's general fund.

Gov. Chris Gregoire has proposed additional cuts that include shortening the school year and ending health programs for low-income people.