OLYMPIA — The session was winding down about 11:12 p.m., when Gov. Chris Gregoire chargedup the stairs between her office and the Senate with aides in tow.
Reporters moving to ask her for comments on the closing were cut off with the governor holding up her index finger and stating “I have a problem.”
Problem turned out to be the Senate’s failure to pass a bill that would move some $255 million from the state’s Rainy Day fund into the general fund to be spend in the remainder of the biennium. Without it, the state’s general fund end balance would be far below the $480 million the Legislature planned — the money the state needs to carry it over into the next biennium or use as a cushion should the revenue not come in as planned.
She had words with Majority Leader Lisa Brown, then talked with several senators on the floor, securing their votes to move the bill and pass it before the session concluded.