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Showdown in Olympia as legislative session deadline looms

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OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Republican legislators on Tuesday pushed back against Gov. Jay Inslee’s veto threat of the nearly 40 bills that are currently sitting on his desk.

“That would be a very poor decision,” said Senate Majority Leader Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville.

Inslee’s veto threat of various non-budget bills, including declaring human trafficking day, represents his frustration that lawmakers have had 58 days to come up with a budget and are still deadlocked at the 11th hour.

“How many times do I have to say your bills are going to get vetoed if you don’t do your job and pass a budget,” Inslee asked at a press conference on Monday.

“There are 37 bills that passed unanimously,” Schoesler said of the bills that currently sit on Inslee’s desk for signature.

Sen. Mike Padden, R-Spokane Valley, noted that many of the bills that sit on Inslee’s desk for a signature had wide bipartisan support.

“There’s a number of, I think, bills on both sides that would be difficult for him to veto,” said Padden.  “I don’t know how serious he was.”

Here are some of the major sticking points:

  • Solving teacher shortage crisis
  • Saving charter schools
  • Wildfire combat and prevention money
  • Funding mental health treatment

Lawmakers have until midnight Thursday to reach a deal.  Otherwise, they are expected to be called into a special session.