Legislature Called Back for Special Session in Olympia
2015 is shaping up to look a lot like 2014, in that the Washington state legislature has unfinished business. Whether or not it turns into a cranky dispute with Gov. Inslee remains to be seen.
Gov. Inslee Thursday issued a statement calling the legislature back to Olympia for a special session that will convene Wednesday, April 29th, and the legislators will likely stay in the state capitol until a budget is hammered out.
The issues revolve around money concerning education and the McCleary state Supreme Court decision. It requires a certain amount of funds to be spent on schools - regardless of the state's budget forecast or situation.
Inslee said he will also ask for a completed transportation package, which he was denied last year, as well as a capital construction budget.
The transportation budget is likely to be a sticking point, as Inslee has been openly pushing for a carbon tax, or pollution tax, to further his environmental agenda.
Then there's the issue of Initiative 1351, the unfunded liability. It was passed by voters last year, but supporters didn't make it clear it contained NO funding provisions to hire the thousands of teachers needed to decrease class sizes. The Washington Education Association (WEA-teachers union) has "helped" stage strikes this week in 8 West side districts, affecting 40,000 students, because the legislature didn't appropriate money for the bill.
In 2014, the special session dragged all the way into late May, before a budget was finally approved just before the fiscal budget year ended at the beginning of June.
Don't miss a minute of your favorite programming, click on the button below to listen to us live online!