Gregoire budget director urges lawmakers to act

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- Gov. Chris Gregoire's budget director is urging lawmakers to take swift action.

Marty Brown said in a note to all members of the Legislature on Monday that time is of the essence. He says many of the cuts the governor has proposed are based on the assumption that they will be implemented by January.

Budget negotiators have already said they likely won't finish their work by Gregoire's deadline of Christmas. The first week of special session showed little progress toward a resolution.

The state faces a $1.4 billion budget shortfall. Gregoire has proposed savings of about $2 billion and wants voters to approve a revenue package to buy back some of the cuts.