Today marks the beginning of the first 30-day special legislative session in Washington’s state capital, but early public indicators are that little more is happening than was evident the last 7-10 days of the regular session that technically ended Sunday.
Republicans that control the state Senate and the Democrat-majority House of Representatives have two very different ideas for how they would fund significant new court-mandated investments in K-12 public schools for the two-year budget cycle 2017-2019.
It comes down to imposing new taxes or trimming existing spending, and at this point, the approach seems to be for the two sides to wait in their respective stares and wait for a “blink” by the other. Neither party’s social media accounts claim an progress today.
The GOP position is that it cannot negotiate in earnest until after the other party votes on taxes that would be required to fund the Democrat’s budget plans.
On Friday afternoon, Republicans in the Senate introduced the revenue plans outlined by House Democrats and it was rejected 48-0, with all senators from both parties voting No. Republicans posit that the compromising details must come forward without relying on a new set of taxes proposed by Democrats.
If history is indicative, the current stand-off is likely to prevail for at least the next 28 days of this month-long special session, and possibly into the next two after.