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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."

Inslee Announces Second Special Session, Prepares For Government Shutdown

Christina Salerno

Washington Governor Jay Inslee will call lawmakers back into a second special session beginning at 9:00 a.m. Wednesday. He’s also beginning preparations for a government shutdown on July 1 if there’s no deal by then.

The moves come as the 30th and final day of the first overtime session comes and goes with still no budget deal.

At a news conference, Democrat Inslee blamed the stalemate on the mostly Republican Senate Majority for insisting on several controversial policy measures he says are unrelated to the budget.

“This should be a debate about education funding," Inslee said. "Not workers compensation, not tax breaks for millionaires, not anti-teacher bills.”

Senate Republican Leader Mark Schoesler’s responsed, “We’re not interested in spewing DC-style rhetoric. We’re interested in finding solutions to the state’s budget.”

The Senate says it wants just three policy bills off a list of 33. Inslee wants the Senate to drop those measures and compromise on how much revenue to include in the new budget.

About the only harmony left in the state Capitol was a boys choir from Texas performing in the rotunda. There’s also a bipartisan chorus that agrees a budget deal will happen before a July 1 state government shutdown.

On the Web:

Gov. Inslee's press conference - TVW

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."