People of Northwest Public Radio
Washington Legislature Special Session
Fri March 9, 2012
No Budget Deal; Wash. Governor Calls Special Session
OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington lawmakers are headed into special session after adjourning their 60-day regular session. The final gavels fell just after midnight Thursday night.
“The 2012 regular session of the 62nd legislature is adjourned sine die.”
Despite the celebration, majority Democrats failed to muster the votes for a plan to re-balance the state budget. That means they will return to the Capitol Monday for an extra inning. Our Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins filed this report overnight.
It was just a month ago that Democrats – and a handful of Republicans – held an emotional celebration to watch Governor Chris Gregoire sign a same-sex marriage bill into law. Openly gay State Senator Ed Murray kicked off the event with these words.
Murray: “Welcome to the other side of the rainbow.”
Murray, who’s also the Senate’s budget chair, joked that passing gay marriage would prove easier than re-balancing the state budget. Oh, how right he was. The clock ran out on the session with an impasse over spending. Governor Chris Gregoire, in a late night news conference, acknowledged she will call lawmakers back after the weekend.
Gregoire: “There’s equal frustration in the body of the legislature as there is out in the public at large that they haven’t been able to get it done, but it’s the facts of where we are. It’s a tough budget, I knew that. So, they got work to do.”
A special session could cost nearly $11,000 per day. It could run as long as thirty days, but lawmaker can adjourn earlier if they complete their work before then.
Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network