Lawmakers send Locke budget with $30 million hole

Lawmakers sent Gov. Gary Locke a budget that contains a $30 million hole that the governor himself will have to plug.

“They’ve left those tough choices to me, and I’ll make those choices,” Locke said Friday, indicating he will veto areas in the budget that call for new spending in order to avoid further dipping into state reserves.

And while lawmakers also approved a $7.7 billion highway, rail and transit package, they left a decision on a 9-cent gas tax needed to fund it up to voters in November.