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Gov. Jay Inslee discusses budget negotiations, DOC investigation

by caprecord

Gov. Jay Inslee said at a press conference Monday he will veto bills if lawmakers do not come to an agreement on a supplemental budget by Thursday, the final day of session.

“We have four days left in this session and there is no reason for them not to get this budget done on time,” Inslee said.

Inslee said he met with Democratic and Republican leaders and budget negotiators Monday morning, and told them he will not “entertain any delays.”

“There are currently about 35 bills on my desk awaiting my signature and hundreds more are coming down the pipe,” Inslee said. “This morning I let leadership know that they should not expect me to sign bills until they reach a budget agreement.”

Watch TVW video of the press conference here. 

Inlsee also gave an update on the Department of Corrections sentencing error that resulted in the early release of more than 3,000 prisoners.

The governor named Dick Morgan to serve as acting secretary of the agency. Morgan retired in 2010 as director of prisons after a 30-year career with the DOC.

Inslee said new leadership is part of the DOC effort to “rebuild trust and implement systemic reforms.”

“This is a interim position,” Inslee said. “But we don’t want to wait months to start the improvements that are going on now.”

Morgan will be replacing Dan Pacholke, whose expected last day is Thursday.

The governor said he’s also taken other personnel action in the wake of the sentencing error.

Two people at DOC have been demoted — a risk manager and a former business manager — and letters of reprimand have been issued to an IT business analyst and a senior records manager.

Additionally, the DOC’s former chief information officer has resigned from his position at another state agency.

The disciplinary actions follow an independent investigation into the DOC error released by the governor’s office in February. Inslee said a supplemental report will be released later this week with employee responses to the initial investigation.

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