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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Washington Legislature. Austin Jenkins is the Olympia correspondent for the Northwest News Network. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

Prospect Of Washington Special Session Looms

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It appears more likely 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.

The reality is just getting a budget written and then passed through two chambers takes some time and basically that window is closing. House Budget Chair Ross Hunter has said all along that if there wasn’t a deal 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 Governor 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."