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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 Plan To Raise Campaign Cash While Meeting In Olympia

File photo of the Washington state Capitol Campus in Olympia.

Washington lawmakers are meeting at the state Capitol this week to get ready for the 2016 legislative session. If lawmakers are back in town, that means lobbyists are too. So why squander the moment?

Thursday night the agenda shifts to the 2016 campaign season. As is tradition, House and Senate Democrats planned to co-host a joint “Committee Days Fundraiser” at the Red Lion Inn. House and Senate Republicans were also scheduled to join forces to raise money at a golf course restaurant near the Capitol.

Both fundraisers advertised a suggested contribution of $100 for individuals and $950 for political action committees.

Time is running out for lawmakers and state elected officials to raise campaign cash before the so-called session freeze starts on December 12. The freeze runs through the end of the regular legislative session in March.

During the freeze a state elected official may not solicit or accept contributions. Legislative caucus campaign committees are also prohibited from raising money.

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."