Flanked by Democratic and Republican legislative leaders, Gov. Gregoire this afternoon announced she’ll call the legislature back into session on Tuesday. She stressed that the purpose of the session would be only to address budget bills: the operating and capital budgets, and the 50 – 60 bills required to implement those budgets as well as the transportation budget.
The special session may last no longer than 30 days. Bills that were not approved by both chambers go into the Way-back Machine (please see Rocky & Bullwinkle), traveling back in time to the beginning of the legislative process. that creates more work for the legislature in order to return to the point in the process when regular session ended.
There’s plenty of heavy lifting left in the session, with a $5.1 billion biennial budget hole to fill. The House proposed to lease state liquor stores to generate $300 million. The Senate called that a gimmick and instead proposed to “save” $250 million in cuts to K-12 schools and through a 3-percent cut in pay for teachers.
At the news conference announcing the special session legislative leaders said they might hold hearings on bills to increase taxes or close loopholes, but they’d need to convince 2/3 of legislators to support those ideas, and leaders admitted they don’t have the votes.