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Government and Politics
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."

Washington Governor Wants DUI, Gun Bills Plus Budget

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Austin Jenkins
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Northwest News Network files

Governor Jay Inslee is like the gambler. He says it would take an “inside straight” for the legislature to complete its work by Sunday’s deadline. 

A nearly $1 billion tax vote in the Washington House Wednesday has cleared the way for budget negotiations to begin in earnest at the Capitol. But an overtime session still appears likely. 

At a news conference the Democrat said there’s much work to be done. Inslee’s own must-have list is long. A two-year operating budget that puts new money into schools, a multi-billion dollar transportation package, a crackdown on drunk drivers, the so-called Reproductive Parity Act and college grants for children of non-citizens.

“And I believe it’s my responsibility to do everything humanely possible to get action on all of these fronts this year,” Inslee says.

Senate Republican leader, Mark Schoesler says there are some non-budget measures his side would like too. But, he says, “Our work now is to pass a budget for the people of the state of Washington that is sustainable for four years.”

The mostly Republican Senate majority maintains that can be done without taxes. House Democrats and Governor Inslee disagree. That fight alone is likely to send the legislature into overtime.