Washington Legislature still in third special session
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Senate Democrats say that while they don’t believe the Legislature needs to move this year to address a class size initiative with a multibillion-dollar price tag that has put the new state operating budget out of balance, they are willing to negotiate with majority Republicans to find an agreement that ends the longest legislative session on record.
Washington lawmakers, after barely averting a government shutdown last week, are still in the midst of a triple overtime legislative session because the budget signed by Gov. Jay Inslee with moments to spare assumed savings of $2 billion for the next two years from the suspension of the voter-approved Initiative 1351.
While the Democratic-led House voted to suspend the initiative for four years on a bipartisan vote, the Senate did not have enough votes to get the required two-thirds majority to suspend the initiative.
Democrats have pushed to cut a deal to trade a vote on a bill that would let high school seniors who didn’t pass the required statewide science exam earn a diploma anyway for a vote for the initiative suspension.