By and large, the budget that went public after midnight today and was approved and sent to Gov. Chris Gregoire a few hours later is not all that different from the Democrats’ last offer a week ago. It avoids major cuts to disability and welfare benefits that Republicans had sought, it doesn’t cut public schools or colleges, and it relies on a $238 million accounting trick.
But there are differences, and here’s a big one for Pierce County: The budget doesn’t call for closing any wards at Western State Hospital.
Six months ago the hospital was …