Top senator: Lawmakers have tentative agreement



OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Gov. Chris Gregoire and top lawmakers have a tentative agreement that would end months of stagnation in the state Legislature.

Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown said in an interview with The Associated Press on Monday night that leaders and top budget negotiators had agreed on the framework of a final deal. They briefed their caucuses on those plans before returning to finalize their work with the governor.

Brown declined to discuss specifics.

The special session is set to end Tuesday. Monday’s flurry of meetings caps months of fruitless negotiations over how to close a roughly half-billion-dollar shortfall for the two-year budget cycle ending June 2013. A Republican-led coalition in the Senate will not take up the budget until lawmakers approve a series of policy changes in state government.