Add The News Tribune editorial board to the list of those thinking a special session of the Washington Legislature is in order.
It may not be politically expedient, especially for the lawmakers running for reelection this year, or logistically easy, given the restrictions of the coronavirus pandemic, but there’s no question a special session of the Washington Legislature is in the best interest of the state.
State Republicans have been calling for an emergency session since May to deal with the economic and political fallout caused by COVID-19. But Gov. Inslee has chosen to go it alone, saying the state has enough “financial wherewithal” to get to the regular January session.
The nonpartisan Washington Research Council disagrees. As they recently noted in a budget report, the state’s $3 billion rainy day fund and any federal relief money are “one-time funds that only delay eventual challenges.”
Several other states with part-time legislatures have already called special sessions including Oregon’s; their legislative branch met twice this summer to close a similar budget gap brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic