With operating budget negotiations at a standstill, lawmakers say that the 2015 Washington Legislative Session will adjourn on Friday — two days earlier than the regular 105-day session was scheduled to end. Gov. Jay Inslee has called for lawmakers to return for a special session that begins on Wednesday, April 29.
Inslee called for both sides to make concessions in order to reach a budget agreement.
“It is time for all sides to compromise, and on Monday I hope to hear openness to that and acknowledgement that the House and Senate will have to move toward each other in order to get the people’s work done,” his prepared statement read.
Along with a 2015-17 operating budget, the divided Washington legislature has yet to agree on a transportation package; resolving Democratic and Republican differences on how to amend Initiative 1351 on class sizes; and a capital construction budget.
The $38 billion budget approved in the Republican-majority Senate was proposed without new taxes and with changes in state worker pay raises from the negotiated contract. The plan also will ask voters to approve changes to Initiative 1351.
The $38.8 billion budget approved in the Democratic-controlled House includes $1.4 billion in new taxes. The funding would depend on a capital gains tax and changes to the business and occupation tax. Democrats say they hope to amend Initiative 1351 through legislative moves, which would require two-thirds approval in both chambers.