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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 Says He Will Start Vetoing Bills If Lawmakers Don’t Send Him A Budget

Austin Jenkins
Northwest News Network
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee says he will start vetoing bills on Thursday if Washington lawmakers can't agree on a bipartisan update to the state's two-year budget. Thursday is the 60th and final day of the current legislative session.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has a blunt warning for state lawmakers:

“Your bills are going to get vetoed if you don’t do your job and pass a budget.”

Inslee made that threat Monday in an effort to push the House and Senate to a budget compromise. The current 60-day session ends on Thursday.

“They are way, way short of a pace that they need to obtain if they’re going to get a budget deal to my desk by midnight Thursday,” the governor said. “So they need to pick up that pace substantially.”

House Democrats and Senate Republicans are struggling to agree on an update to the state’s two-year operating budget.

Inslee said if lawmakers miss the Thursday deadline he’ll start vetoing the 35 bills they’ve already passed. He would also immediately call them back into special session to continue working on a budget deal.

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."