Legislative session goes extra innings?

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State of Washington capitol building, Olympia.

OLYMPIA- It’s becoming increasingly likely that the State Legislature will have to go into another special session to hammer out a budget agreement. House Democrats and Senate Republicans are at an impasse in negotiations according to our two 12th District House members, Mike Steele and Cary Condotta.

“Well the biggest issue is that we have this budget that the majority in the House proposed an operating budget that does nothing to address how they are going to pay for it,” said Rep. Mike Steele. “That’s where the hangup happens. The Senate has said they are not going to negotiate on any budget unless we can see how you are going to pay for the things you are asking us to spend. I think that’s an important point because we don’t have the revenue side of this ledger yet.”

Rep. Cary Condotta expressed his doubts in solving the major issues in education before the end of the week.

“The education folks are continuing to meet though on the McCleary fix, and I understand the last few meetings have been a little more productive so there is a possibility, although a faint possibility, that they could get that part pretty well figured out by Sunday,” Condotta said. “But I don’t even see that happening right now.”

Governor Jay Inslee commented on the budget stalemate during a bill signing ceremony in Olympia.

“There is no reason this can’t start this afternoon,” Inslee said. “Each side believes that theirs is the perfect budget. Each side is going to have to compromise and neither side should be able to say they don’t appreciate the other side’s position because both sides need to start honest negotiations– Our kids deserve it.”

The legislative session is scheduled to adjourn on Sunday but as of now it doesn’t appear to be headed in that direction. The Legislature has failed to wrap up its sessions in a timely fashion for the past several years.