Wash. senator cuts trip short for budget talks



OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — A Washington senator has returned early from a family trip, saying he was concerned about the fate of some bills as the end of special session nears.

Democratic Sen. Rodney Tom took a flight from California on Tuesday morning. He had initially planned on returning from the trip Wednesday after touring colleges with his daughter.

Tom said he was concerned about how the proposed changes to the pension system were coming together in negotiations. And he also worried that Senate Democrats might push through a budget in his absence.

Tom has been siding with Republicans in the latest talks, helping provide the GOP coalition with a 25-24 majority in the Senate.

Tom initially said earlier in the week that the family trip was planned in January and that he expected the Legislature would not need his vote because a final compromise would have broad support.