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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."

Lawmakers had a fight so bad, they came back in August to say, 'we good?' ?

Austin Jenkins
Northwest News Network
A bipartisan group of Washington lawmakers held a rare August meeting in a basement conference room in Olympia to discuss a 'fix' to a Washington Supreme Court decision that has put domestic water well drilling on hold across the state.

Lawmakers in Washington state had a fight so bad last month, they got together in a basement conference room Wednesday.

First you need to know what happened back in July. The Washington Legislature adjourned its third overtime session without passing a capital construction budget and without addressing a Supreme Court decision that’s left some property owners unable to drill a drinking water well.

Lawmakers headed home tired and, in some cases, mad. Which brings us to this August meeting. “I asked people to come back together to kind of regroup,”Republican state Sen. Judy Warnick said.

She insists on a fix to the well drilling situation before there’s a capital budget. Warnick would like to see a deal come together by early September.

But Democratic state Rep. Larry Springer thinks that’s optimistic.

“This will be a slow process because we’re simply not here so it’s just hard getting people together,” he said.

In other words don’t expect lawmakers to make a habit of meeting in basement conference rooms in August.

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."