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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."

Washington Governor Narrows Special Session Agenda

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The Washington legislature is back in session – for a 30-day extra inning. Washington Governor Jay Inslee Monday narrowed his agenda to three key items: the budget, a roads-and- transit funding package and a crackdown on impaired drivers.

Governor Inslee 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," Inslee says. "But we need some resources to make things happen.”

The mostly Republican majority in the Washington 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."