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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."

Cut-Off Deadline Means Washington Lawmakers Down To The Wire

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Washington lawmakers face a 5 p.m. deadline Wednesday to pass bills out of their House of origin.

Measures dealing with oil train safety, payday lending and distracted driving have survived the deadline.

This signals the next phase of the 105-day session. It is also nail-biting time for lawmakers and lobbyists and others.

If you have a bill that you’ve sponsored and tried to get to this point and it fails it can be a moment of real disappointment. There is always a last minute push to get these bills through the pipeline.

But it also means that lawmakers are sort of in that transition phase again. The now really have to think about structuring, writing and passing a two-year budget, dealing with transportation funding and bunch of things that will lead to the end game and whether they can get out on time or whether they’re here until as late as July.

The Washington House is controlled by Democrats and the Washington Senate by Republicans. Both chambers are likely to kill off a lot of each other’s bills in the weeks to come.

April 26 is the last day of the regular session of the Washington legislature.

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."