Wash. budget writers discuss alternatives



OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Budget writers in the Washington Legislature are still considering new ideas in their quest to find a compromise.

Negotiators from both parties met Monday with Gov. Chris Gregoire’s budget director, Marty Brown. Brown said he thought the meeting went well as the sides presented a couple new ideas and everyone was open to the discussion. He declined to discuss specifics.

A Republican-led plan in the Senate would balance the budget in part by skipping a payment to the state’s pension system and ending early retirement for future state workers. A Democratic plan in the Senate would delay a schools payment by one day into the next budget cycle.

Budget writers plan to meet again on Tuesday.