NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Friday, April 24th, 2015

Washington State Legislature adjourns Sine Die; special session to begin next week

With a great deal left undone, the Wash­ing­ton State Leg­is­la­ture adjourned sine die this evening, two days ahead of the dead­line for adjourn­ment of an odd-year reg­u­lar ses­sion fixed in the Wash­ing­ton State Constitution.

The Demo­c­ra­t­ic-con­trolled House and Repub­li­can-con­trolled Sen­ate remain far apart on an oper­at­ing bud­get for 2015–2017, and haven’t yet fin­ished work­ing on a cap­i­tal bud­get or trans­porta­tion pack­age either, neces­si­tat­ing a spe­cial session.

Gov­er­nor Jay Inslee announced yes­ter­day he is sum­mon­ing leg­is­la­tors back to work in a thir­ty-day spe­cial ses­sion to begin Wednes­day, April 29th.

“Before the Leg­is­la­ture con­vened in Jan­u­ary, I said we must fund edu­ca­tion through a sus­tain­able and respon­si­ble bud­get, approve a trans­porta­tion improve­ment pack­age and make progress on fight­ing car­bon pol­lu­tion,” Inslee said. “That work remains undone. A spe­cial ses­sion will allow law­mak­ers to focus on these pri­or­i­ties and I expect the work to be done with­in the thir­ty-day session.”

“It is time for all sides to com­pro­mise, and on Mon­day I hope to hear open­ness to that and acknowl­edge­ment that the House and Sen­ate will have to move toward each oth­er in order to get the people’s work done.”

A procla­ma­tion signed by the gov­er­nor was pub­lished today, mak­ing the spe­cial ses­sion offi­cial. It reads as follows:

WHEREAS, in accor­dance with Arti­cle II, Sec­tion 12 (Amend­ment 68) of the Wash­ing­ton State Con­sti­tu­tion, the Leg­is­la­ture adjourned its 2015 reg­u­lar ses­sion on April 24, 2015, the 103th day of the ses­sion; and

WHEREAS, work remains to be done with respect to the 20l5-2017 bien­ni­al oper­at­ing and cap­i­tal bud­gets and bills nec­es­sary to imple­ment those bud­gets; and

WHEREAS, work remains to be done with respect to the 2015–2017 bien­ni­al trans­porta­tion bud­get and bills nec­es­sary to imple­ment that bud­get; and

WHEREAS, work remains to be done with respect to crit­i­cal pol­i­cy bills that need to be act­ed upon by the Leg­is­la­ture; and

WHEREAS, the Speak­er of the House, House Minor­i­ty Leader, Sen­ate Repub­li­can Leader, and Sen­ate Demo­c­ra­t­ic Leader, work­ing togeth­er with the Gov­er­nor may agree upon addi­tion­al mat­ters that are nec­es­sary for the Leg­is­la­ture to address;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Jay Inslee, Gov­er­nor of the state of Wash­ing­ton, by virtue of the author­i­ty vest­ed in me by Arti­cle II, Sec­tion 12 (Amend­ment 68) and Arti­cle III, Sec­tion 7 of the Wash­ing­ton State Con­sti­tu­tion, do here­by con­vene the Wash­ing­ton State Leg­is­la­ture in Spe­cial Ses­sion in the Capi­tol at Olympia on Wednes­day, April 29, 2015, at 1200 p.m. for the pur­pose of enact­ing leg­is­la­tion as described above.

Signed and sealed with the offi­cial seal of the state of Wash­ing­ton this 24th day of April, A.D. Two-thou­sand and Fif­teen at Olympia, Washington.

Two years ago, law­mak­ers near­ly ran out the clock try­ing to get a bud­get agree­ment ham­mered out. A state gov­ern­ment shut­down was avert­ed, but with only hours to spare. Whether law­mak­ers can avoid anoth­er eleventh hour sit­u­a­tion this year remains to be seen. The spe­cial ses­sion cer­tain­ly won’t be very pro­duc­tive if Sen­ate Repub­li­cans keep can­cel­ing meet­ings and choos­ing to take Fri­days off.

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