When Gov. Inslee called the Legislature into special session to strike a budget deal, most everyone hoped that things could be wrapped up quickly. Today, as the Legislature’s web site reminds us, is Day 6 of the first special session. (We’re always troubled by that “first,” which nearly always implies a second.)
As we wrote yesterday, most observers agreed it shouldn’t be this difficult to get things done. In Crosscut, Tom James writes today in an article headlined “Legislators hope for express exit from Olympia,”
Legislators are working quickly on how to bring back more than two dozen bills vetoed by Gov. Jay Inslee — without creating an opening for political hijinks.
The story’s main focus is use of a veto override, rather than reintroducing bills, which opens the door to amendments and delay. Legislative leaders, James says, believe the strategy
…would help ensure an early end to the special session of the Legislature called by the governor last Thursday, assuming lawmakers can keep moving toward an agreement on a new budget.
It’s a nice assumption. There’s no reason for movement to slow, but there’s also scant public evidence that things are moving. The Associated Press notes the absence of any announced budget agreement today. Walker Orenstein reports that the budget proposal advanced by the Senate moved closer to the House budget. (The Washington Research Council has analysis here.) Orenstein writes,
But there are still a number of remaining differences between the Democrat and Republican budget proposals.
Reconcilable differences, we still believe. But the clock continues to tick. And soon it will be too late to call this a short special session. Maybe more hopeful news soon?