Legislature closes in on final days of special session

With the final day of special session just a week away the operating budget continues to be hung up on the subject of worker’s compensation. The Senate says it’s a go-home issue; the House says it is not. The governor is trying to strike a compromise that will put a budget on her desk and send legislators home.

If no compromise is reached on or around the 21st, it will become very difficult to get through all of the mechanics of legislature procedure that are necessary to adopt a budget. The governor has said she will not call a special session until budget negotiators have reached agreement.

Today the governor said she was discussing with agency leaders what to do if no state budget is in effect on July 1. The state government has never had to shut down; in 1991 the legislature didn’t adopt a budget until June 30 ( I remember because, then a legislative employee, I had scheduled my vacation for the last week of June thinking the legislature couldn’t possibly go that long…..)

So the waiting continues. Our financial aid staff are trying to package new students without knowing what tuition or financial aid funding will be; our budget staff are planning for the upcoming biennium not knowing what tuition, state support, or financial aid will be.

The waiting continues.

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About Linda Schactler

Linda is the former Director of Communications for the Washington State Senate, and former deputy director of the Washington State Higher Education Coordinating Board. From 2000 through 2010 Linda was the proprietor of Schactler Communications, an Olympia-based public affairs business. She holds a master of arts in English literature from Washington University in St. Louis. Linda can be reached at her Ellensburg office schactler@cwu.edu, 509-963-1384, or on her cell phone, 509-607-4103.
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