Washington Governor Jay Inslee has called a special session in an attempt to encourage the legislature to pass a budget.
The announcement was made immediately following the close of regular session on Thursday night in Olympia. Earlier in the week, Governor Inslee had said he would veto the bills on his desk if a budget agreement wasn’t reached by the end of session, a tactic that some likened to a “temper tantrum” to achieve passage of his version of the budget.
When it came time to fulfill his promise to veto the bills, Governor Inslee did — well, kind of. Ten of the 37 bills on his desk were signed into law on Thursday night. The remaining 27 bills — all bills which had attained bi-partisan support, an accomplishment in itself — were effectively killed with the Governor’s veto.
The list of bills vetoed by the Governor included bills pertaining to services for students with special needs, personal property rights, and several bills pertaining to healthcare and pharmacies.
While some, like Governor Inslee, believe this budget negotiation period should only last a short time, others are less convinced. Depending on how hard public unions dig their heels in, and how willing or unwilling the legislature is to compromise, it may take a much longer time to pass a budget.
It’s important to note that no legislators can begin raising funds for reelection campaigns until the special session ends. Lawmakers are expected to reconvene to resume budget talks as early as this weekend.