The Capitol Record

Lawmakers ponder special session in final days

State lawmakers acknowledged on Wednesday that a special session may be needed to find a compromise on the state’s budget and other key issues.

“There’s much work to be done, we’d have to draw into an inside straight to be done by Sunday,” Gov. Jay Inslee said during a press conference.

Inslee said that many issues remain unresolved, including an agreement on the operating budget, capital budget and transportation package. He also said it would be a disappointment if lawmakers left Olympia without taking action on a number of key issues — gun control, DUI legislation, the abortion insurance bill, and the Washington Dream Act.

Meanwhile, Republican leaders reserved some hope that the Legislature can finish its business by Sunday, when the 105-day session is scheduled to end.

“This place is amazing in the miracles that can transpire if everybody gets together,” Senate Majority Leader Sen. Rodney Tom (D-Medina) said.

Lawmakers will have to find a compromise between the Senate’s no-tax budget and a House proposal calling for $900 million in new revenue. If a special session is called, it could last up to 30 days.

“It is still very much in the mechanics of the institution to finish on Sunday,” said Senate Republican Leader Mark Schoesler (R-Ritsville). “I am a farmer, so I have to be an optimist.”

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