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Lawmakers take more time to answer McCleary ruling despite daily fines

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SEATAC, Wash. — Lawmakers plan to meet again in the next several days to determine what’s next as the state lawmakers are scrambling to come up with a plan to fund education after the state Supreme Court ruled they haven’t done enough. Governor Jay Inslee called a meeting Monday to discuss the next steps.

Despite mounting $100,000 a day fines following the McCleary ruling last week, lawmakers did not rush to call for another special session before January.

Justices argued the sanctions are necessary because lawmakers failed to secure more money for class size reduction, classroom construction, 4,000 additional teachers and they failed to reduce reliance on local levies for teacher salaries.

Though Governor Inslee admits there is a lot of work left to do, he made it clear that a special session might not be necessary.

“I’m going to urge them to act starting today and every day to fashion a daily plan, and they don’t have to be in session to do that,” said Inslee.

It was a sentiment echoed by legislators like House Republic Leader Dan Kristiansen.

“I don’t know that a special session is necessarily necessary at this point,” said Kristiansen. “We already have committee assembly days.”

Kristiansen also didn’t feel rushing a solution was the right answer.

“Making sure that we do this right rather than quickly- I think that’s what needs to be priority,” said Kristiansen.

Lawmakers will now meet with their caucuses to determine what’s next. The governor has said complying with the court order could cost about 3 billion a biennium.