OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- Republicans are using a procedural move in an attempt to take over the Democrats' budget plan on the Senate floor.
Three Democrats broke from their party in order to allow the procedure -- known as a "Ninth Order" -- to take place on the Senate floor Friday, just hours in advance of a crucial cutoff deadline for bills to be voted off the floor. With enough support, which was provided by Democratic Sens. Tim Sheldon of Potlach, Rodney Tom of Medina and Jim Kastama of Puyallup, the "Ninth Order" allows any bill to be pulled to the floor, even those that haven't had a public hearing.
Republicans called for four bills, including a budget bill based on Gov. Chris Gregoire's original budget proposal from November. Republicans have argued that the Democrats' budget plan, unveiled earlier this week, doesn't focus enough on reforming state government. Democrats are fighting the attempt to pull the bills to the floor.