Policy bill stalling final passage of Wash. budget

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- A policy bill is stalling final passage of Washington state's budget just hours before the end of a 30-day special session.

Negotiators say that have agreed on procedures for how the state can outsource certain government services. But Democratic Rep. Zack Hudgins said Wednesday he wasn't sure when the bill would come up for a vote and that many of his colleagues have concerns about the plan. Labor groups are concerned about limits placed on whether state employees can compete with private sector proposals.

The House has already approved a news spending plan for the state, but Republican Sen. Joe Zarelli says the Senate won't take up the measure until the contracting bill is approved. Hudgins urged the Senate to approve the budget without the new bill.