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Gov. Inslee narrows special session agenda

Rachel La Corte
Associated Press

With the state Legislature back in session for a 30-day extra inning, Gov. Jay Inslee on Monday narrowed his agenda to three key items: the budget, a roads-and-transit funding package, and a crackdown on impaired drivers.

The governor says it’s time for compromise and consensus in the state Capitol. To that end, the Democrat is no longer insisting the Legislature act on three controversial non-budget issues: guns, abortion coverage, and college grants for undocumented students.

But Inslee is still adamant that the budget will have to raise some new revenue—perhaps through closing some tax exemptions.

“Education is important, but it is not free. And when we get good teachers, really great things can happen. But we need some resources to make things happen,” he said.

The mostly-Republican majority in the state Senate continues to insist a tax package is not necessary. Both sides do agree 30 days is long enough to get a budget deal. But much before 30 days? Don’t count on it.

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.