Gregoire Says Next 48 Hours Critical For Wash. Budget Negotiations

Mar 29, 2012

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington Governor Chris Gregoire says the next 48 hours are critical to reaching a deal to rebalance the state budget. The Democrat resumed signing legislation into law Thursday after holding dozens of bills hostage.

Her one-woman strike over, Gregoire was back at her conference table with a stack of pens and a stack of bills.

Chris Gregoire: “The prime sponsor in the House ....”

Gregoire has until midnight Saturday to sign or veto nearly 180 bills. A task she was clearly not relishing.

Chris Gregoire: “I have a formidable challenge on my hands.”

But Gregoire maintains her refusal to sign bills had the desired effect. She reports bipartisan negotiations to close a $500 million state budget shortfall are progressing. Even so, she says, half a dozen major issues remain unresolved. Budget writers have described the negotiations as akin to putting together a jigsaw puzzle. Gregoire wants the pieces in place in time for a vote next week.

Chris Gregoire: “My goal all the way along has been absolutely no later than Good Friday. So we’re on a short chain to make that happen.”

On the prospect of another 30 day extension to the legislative session Gregoire had one word: abhorrent.

Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network