Spin Control

Spec Sess Day 3: Budget hearings and medical marijuana

Maintenance worker checks the Capitol dome for leaks on Nov. 30, 2011. (Jim Camden)
Maintenance worker checks the Capitol dome for leaks on Nov. 30, 2011. (Jim Camden)

Maintenance worker checks the Capitol dome for leaks Wednesday morning.

OLYMPIA -- Senate budget hearings resume this afternoon, with the Ways and Means Committee scheduled to concentrate on proposed cuts to public schools and state universities.

Both the House and Senate are scheduled to come into session at 10 a.m., but then break fairly quickly for caucuses. The House put off any debate Tuesday on a plan to help save the Wenatchee Public Facilities District from default, and would have to do something today to have any hope of meeting a deadline on Thursday. But that proposal is in trouble, with little movement in the Senate after a fairly skeptical reception in committee Tuesday, and things don't look good for what some legislators see as a precedent-setting bailout.

Gov. Chris Gregoire has a lunchtime telephonic press conference on medical marijuana. It's a joint event -- sorry, couldn't resist -- with Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee.

Meanwhile, the state is checking the Capitol dome for any leaks or other maintenance problems that need attending. It contracted with a Seattle architectural firm for someone to rappel down the dome and check out the condition of the roof.

(Editor's note: An earlier version of the post said a Seattle television station sent a news helicopter to check out the person on the dome because of recent protests. But a spokesman for the state Department of Enterprise Services, which is in charge of state buildings, said tne news chopper came down for an aerial view for a story on the planned maintenance to the dome.)

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Jim Camden
Jim Camden is the Olympia bureau chief, covering the Legislature and state government. He also is a political columnist and blogger for Spin Control.

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