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Without budget deal, prospect of special session looms

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Alan Cordova

It appears more likely that Washington lawmakers will go into an overtime session. The regular 105-day session ends this Sunday. But the House and Senate, along with the governor, still have to agree on a two-year budget deal. Even if a deal was at hand—and it doesn’t appear one is—they’d be cutting it close.

Getting a budget written then passed through two chambers takes some time, and the window is closing. House Budget Chair Ross Hunter has said all along that if a deal is not struck by the Monday of the last week, getting done on time starts to become very difficult.

Majority leaders in both Washington chambers have criticized each other’s budgets as unworkable. A key question is whether taxes are part of the final budget. Democrats control the Washington House while the Senate is run by a mostly Republican coalition.

A spokesman for Gov. Jay Inslee says the Democrat is working under the assumption that “there’s more work” that can get done before Sunday’s deadline.

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy as well as the Washington State legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia." Prior to joining the Northwest News Network, Austin worked as a television reporter in Seattle, Portland and Boise. Austin is a graduate of Garfield High School in Seattle and Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut. Austin’s reporting has been recognized with awards from the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors, Public Radio News Directors Incorporated and the Society of Professional Journalists.

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