Dear Friends and Neighbors,
It is day 26 of the first 30-day special session of 2012—the third special session of the biennium and the fifth in the past two years. Some of us have begun to wonder what's so special about special session!
After three weeks of behind-the-scenes budget negotiations and little progress, legislators were called back to Olympia this week to hold committee meetings and vote on a handful of bills. Although the House voted on a new version of the budget yesterday, it was not a bipartisan proposal and will likely continue the ongoing standoff with the Senate, which passed a sustainable and bipartisan budget last month. The new budget passed yesterday by House Democrats spends more money than their original plan. With no budget agreement between majority Democrats in the House and the bipartisan philosophical majority in the Senate, the Legislature could be called back for a second special session, the sixth in two years.
I am still hopeful a bipartisan, compromise budget can be reached without another overtime. The budget needs to be a sustainable, fiscally responsible plan that does not burden future Legislatures with today's problem. The votes are there if we work together. The deadline is Tuesday.
468 John L.O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
360-786-7968 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000