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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."

Clock Running Out On Washington 30-Day Special Session

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Austin Jenkins
/
Northwest News Network
The Washington legislature's 30-day special session is set to end on Thursday.

The clock runs out Thursday on Washington’s 30-day special session of the legislature. There are indications the pace of budget negotiations has picked up, but a second special session is still likely.

Washington House Democrats and Senate Republicans say they’ve been trading budget offers back and forth. But a final spending deal is still elusive.

Democrats have backed away from calls for a $1.5 billion tax package. But they’re still pushing a new capital gains tax. Republicans continue to maintain that no additional taxes are needed.

Washington lawmakers are under the gun to bolster the state’s mental health system, give pay raises to state employees and teachers, and make another down payment toward full funding of K-12.

Governor Jay Inslee has said if lawmakers don’t pass a budget by day 30, he will immediately call them back into a second special session. That’s not unprecedented. It happened in 2012 and 2013.