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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 Lawmakers To Convene In Advance Of Challenging 2016 Session

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September’s deadly Aurora Bridge accident in Seattle and the 2015 fire season are on the agenda as Washington lawmakers return to the Capitol on Thursday and Friday.

Lawmakers routinely gather in November in advance of the January regular session. But this year a lot has happened since they left town at the end of June.

The Supreme Court sanctioned lawmakers for failing to come up with a plan to fully fund public schools. The Supreme Court also ruled charter schools unconstitutional. And voters just approved a Tim Eyman measure that cuts the state sales tax unless lawmakers adopt a two-thirds for tax hikes constitutional amendment.

Implications from these decisions and more are on the agenda as lawmakers briefly convene. They’ll also get an update on the deadly Ride the Ducks crash on the Aurora Bridge and lessons learned from the devastating 2015 wildfire season.

On the lighter side, a proposal to legalize fantasy sports is also on the agenda.

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."