Washington Legislature Adjourns, But Not For Long

By Austin Jenkins

The Washington legislature has adjourned after a 105-day session. The final gavels fell just after six o’clock Sunday night.

But the adjournment won’t last long. Governor Jay Inslee immediately called a special session for two weeks from now because the House and Senate failed to come to agreement on a two-year budget.

Inslee says he hopes lawmakers can return to Olympia in a couple of weeks and finish their job in what he calls a “quick and orderly fashion.” But even the governor admits there’s a big gulf between and the Democratic House and mostly Republican Senate when it comes to the budget.

Jay Inslee: “The parties are not miles apart at the moment, they are light years apart at the moment.”

Add to that, the Democrat wants lawmakers to tackle several other hot button issues in the special session. They include: a gas tax transportation package, gun violence measures and a bill to require health insurance plans cover abortion. And Inslee reiterated that closing tax exemptions to raise money for education is also a priority.

Mark Schoesler: “We might be here a long time.”

Senate Republican Leader Mark Schoesler.

Mark Schoesler: “Insistence on raising taxes makes for a lot longer session.”

The plan is for budget negotiators to meet daily during the two week break. The special session will run 30 days.

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