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MONDAY, MARCH 15, 2010, 12:13 P.M.

WA Lege SpecSess: They’re baaaack

OLYMPIA -- The Legislature trundled into its special session at noon with a "pro forma" agenda. For the opening roll call in the Senate, there were just 10 senators on the floor when the call started, although 16 had shown up by the time the roster reading was done.

They're running process resolutions, which set the time limits for introducing and reviewing bills, and suspending some of those requirements. Ordinarily, a minority party would object, but Republicans aren't this time, in the interests of getting stuff done as quickly as possible.

"We don't plan to be obstructionists," Senate Minority Leader Mike Hewitt, R-Walla Walla, said. "Many of us have taken ourselves off per diem."

Majority Leader Lisa Brown, D-Spokane, said there'd be plenty of time to review legislation.

During the regular session, some of the requirements for review and scheduling seemed to be honoried in their breach, anyway, with "ghost" bills being used to introduce major legislation, and an income tax proposal popping up in a hearing before anyone had a chance to read it.

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The Spokesman-Review's political team keeps a critical eye on local, state and national politics.