Inslee criticizes lack of progress on budget

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) Gov. Jay Inslee says he is concerned about the "lack of substantive progress" in budget negotiations as lawmakers near the end of an overtime session, and he specifically called out a measure put forth by Senate Republicans that he says will take money away from education.

Inslee on Tuesday lambasted a bill passed out of a Senate fiscal committee last week that would lower estate tax rates and phase in raising the value of estates to be taxed from $2 million to the federal level of $5 million.

Lawmakers are in the midst of a 30-day special session that began on May 13 and is set to end June 11. They face a $1.2 billion budget shortfall for the two-year cycle that ends in the middle of 2015. That doesn't count an additional approximate $1 billion that lawmakers are seeking in response to a court-ordered requirement that the state spend more on its basic education system.