Budget demonstrators spend night at Wash. Capitol

AP News
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Posted: Apr 07, 2011 10:38 AM
Budget demonstrators spend night at Wash. Capitol

About 50 people protesting budget cuts under consideration by Washington state lawmakers spent the night in sleeping bags on a hard marble floor of the state Capitol in Olympia.

The Washington State Patrol asked demonstrators to leave but also told them officials would not arrest anyone who stayed overnight.

They were a mix of members of several community groups and college students who are lobbying lawmakers to end 567 tax breaks on certain industries and services.

Some called proposed budget cuts immoral and said they would disproportionately hurt the poor.

The state faces a $5 billion budget deficit.

A few lawmakers mingled with the crowd. Later in the night, several senators brought food for the protesters.

Labor groups planned more protests Thursday and Friday.