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State Budget Crisis
Gregoire to call special session on budget
Washington Governor Chris Gregoire says she will call a special session of the legislature to address the ballooning budget crisis. The Democrat made the announcement Monday afternoon following a meeting with legislative leaders from both parties.
“I need them to take action now and they know that, they said they understood it, they were ready to do that in their heads. But they can’t commit their caucuses yet until they’ve had the time to actually go through all of the numbers and all of the options, the limited options with their members," Gregoire said.
House Speaker Frank Chopp later put out a statement saying “good progress” is being made on a budget deal.
Gregoire has set a Thursday afternoon deadline but will not say when she plans to call the special session. The Governor, did however, vow to call lawmakers into special session even if they fail to coalesce around a budget solution.
The state faces a $1.1 billion shortfall in the current two year budget. The goal of a special session would be to put a big dent in that number.
Draft of Gregoire's proposed budget cuts, as shared by the News Tribune.