Special session days are numbered

The last day of the (first) special session of the legislature, April 10, is fast approaching. Between now and then we can expect legislators not to want to work Good Friday and Easter weekend. That leaves precious few days to melt the ice dam between Democrats and Republicans in the Senate.

The governor reports that the Democrats’ and Republicans’ “gimmicks”–delaying K-12 payments to the next fiscal year and skipping a pension fund payment, respectively–are off the table. That’s progress….sort of. Legislative leaders say they’ll know in the next few days if a third special session will be required (remember the one in December?)

The governor had threatened to stop signing bills if budget negotiators didn’t go to work. But today she’s acting on more than 100 bills–which her staff say had been planned long in advance and did not signal progress on the budget. The governor has 30 days after the last day of regular session to act on bills–she can approve them, or veto all or sections of bills. If she does nothing, they become law without her signature. That’s what will happen to about 65 bills Saturday unless the governor acts on Friday or Saturday. Still untouched is the bill that recreates the HECB under the name of “the Student Achievement Council.”

Tomorrow – an update to our bill summary! Exciting!

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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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