Wash. Senate releases budget plan

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- The Senate has unveiled a budget proposal that focuses on a series of spending cuts and fund transfers as lawmakers work toward balancing a projected budget deficit while also complying with a court-ordered requirement to spend more on the state's basic education system.

Under the budget released today, budget writers say they identified more than $1 billion in savings, including $65 million in government efficiencies that state agencies will have to implement, $127 million in savings by moving thousands of low-income government workers into federally subsidized health care and millions more saved by delaying the opening of a prison unit.

The budget adds $1.5 billion more to K-12 education, including $1 billion directly toward basic education. The overall amount includes more than $240 million on a learning assistance program targeted to high-poverty schools and $41 million to phase in expansion of full-day kindergarten.