Gov. Jay Inslee on Tuesday called for a second special legislative session to start Wednesday as lawmakers prepare to conclude their first overtime session without a deal on the state budget.
Inslee said the newest special session will start the day after the current 30-day special session is set to adjourn Tuesday night. Both the House and Senate have passed their own budget proposals within the past week, but have been unable to agree on a final deal.
It’s not clear how negotiators are going to find agreement before the end of June, when the current budget cycle ends. Senate leaders have insisted on the passage of some policy bills in exchange for some revenue sought by the House.
To prepare for the worst case scenario, the House voted Monday to approve a temporary capital budget plan to ensure that crews would continue working on previously approved infrastructure projects even in the event of a government shutdown.
Lawmakers have been working on a budget solution since the beginning of the year, looking to mend a roughly $1 billion budget shortfall for the two-year cycle that ends in the middle of 2015.
They’ve also been looking to add another $1 billion to the state’s education system in response to an order from the state Supreme Court.
The Senate has said it would make some concessions on revenue that the House wants if some bills that the Senate wants are passed, including one to expand the use of settlements in the state workers’ compensation system, one to give principals the power to reject the placement of specific teachers in their schools and another that would limit the growth of non-education spending in future budgets.
Democrats control the state House while Republicans largely control the state Senate with the help of two conservative Democrats.