OLYMPIA — With protesters outside on the Capitol steps and more expected later today, the Legislature started its special session shortly after noon with limited pomp and circumstance.
The Legislature is generally without its army of teen-aged pages for this emergency budget session. The pages often form a color guard to bring the U.S. and state flags into the chamber. The Senate improvised today by having Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown, D-Spokane, and Senate Minority Leader Mike Hewitt, R-Walla Walla, as the flag bearers. (above)
Once flags were firmly in place, Gov. Chris Gregoire’s official call was read for the emergency session to address the projected budget shortfall, and other matters as legislators see fit.
The Senate also had a few housekeeping details to attend, including the swearing-in of two recently appointed members. There will be another such ceremony on Tuesday for Mike Padden, who won the Nov. 8 election in Spokane’s 4th District, but doesn’t take office until the election results are certified Tuesday afternoon.