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Governor’s office says progress made in budget talks

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The governor’s office says that the head budget negotiators from the Senate and House have reached a tentative agreement on how much money should be spent under a new two-year state operating budget.

Now, they need to get sign off from their respective caucuses before being able to move on and negotiate specific parts of Washington state’s 2015-2017 operating budget, David Schumacher, Gov. Jay Inslee’s budget director, said Friday.

Budget writers and caucus leaders have been meeting daily — sometimes twice in a day — with Inslee and staff. On Friday, after the initial morning meeting, Republican Sen. Andy Hill and Democratic Rep. Ross Hunter met separately with Inslee in his office. Neither would comment after the meeting.

Lawmakers are currently in the midst of a second overtime special session.

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