OLYMPIA -- The Legislature voted to adjourn the regular session "sine die" which is fancy Latin for "That's all folks." Not sure what the Latin is for "for the time being, anyway."
Lt. Gov. Brad Owen just brought the gavel down in the Senate and the officials in the House did the same in tshe House of Representatives. Each house watched the other on TVW images projected on the front and back walls.
Because before doing that, both houses passed a resolution calling for a special session to handle budget problems, and had one last set of votes on education, with the Senate passing the "Race to The Top" bill on school reforms just sent over from the House of Representatives. The House, in turn, passed the public school funding bill sent over from the Senate (see below).
They expect to be back as a group Monday, but leadership is supposed to work through the weekend trying to figure out a budget compromise.
Legislators who had been been exchanging verbal blows for the last 60 days shook hands and chatted amiably on the floor of the Senate. They invited friends, family and staff onto the floor to cheer the ending.
But camaraderie has its limits. The Republican caucus issued a press release saying the need for a special session is "costly and embarassing" for Democrats.
"They control every aspect of state government but still couldn’t reach agreement among themselves and with the special interests that pull so many of the strings in Olympia," Republicans said in a press release sent out under Senate Minority Leader Mike Hewitt, R-Walla Walla..
Gov. Chris Gregoire is expected to make the official call for a special session sometime Thursday evening.