Wash. lawmakers assess budget cut options - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Wash. lawmakers assess budget cut options

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - State lawmakers have started assessing potential ideas on how to fix the state's budget situation.

A Senate committee heard proposals Monday that would further reduce teacher salaries, release prisoners early and eliminate virtually all substance abuse services. Senate Republican Leader Mike Hewitt called the cuts eye-opening and said the reductions in prisons would be a threat to safety.

None of the proposals have been officially endorsed by lawmakers and their staff. Lawmakers are simply starting the process of reviewing options to find about $2 billion in cuts before a special session that starts at the end of November.

Gov. Chris Gregoire's office plans to develop a new budget proposal by next month.