Amanda Terkel (HuffPo), with video (09:28):
Inspired by the uprising in Wisconsin over workers' rights, Washington state residents have turned out at the state Capitol this week to protest deep budget cuts the legislature is considering to address a looming $5 billion deficit.
The protesters are arguing the state should close tax loopholes for corporations and wealthy individuals before cutting valuable public services. Organizers are expecting anywhere from 4,000-6,000 people on Friday and said it could end up as one of the largest protests in the state in years.
"The main message is directed at the legislature," said Tim Welch, spokesman for the Washington Federation of State Employees. "Budget cuts are going so deep and we're cutting so deeply into the safety net that we really want them to consider closing several billion in closing tax loopholes. We just don't think it makes sense to give big tax breaks to banks and to those who own private jets...when you've got potentially more slots closing up at state colleges and universities." MORE...