Spin Control

Skip regular session? No way, Gregoire says

Gov. Chris Gregoire announcing some $2 billion in cuts she may recommend for the special legislative session. (Jim Camden)
Gov. Chris Gregoire announcing some $2 billion in cuts she may recommend for the special legislative session. (Jim Camden)

Gov. Chris Gregoire at Thursday's press conference.

OLYMPIA -- While most of Gov. Chris Gregoire's press conference Thursday revolved around the cuts that could be made or should be made, she did field a few questions a bit farther afield.

At one point she was asked what she thought of House Minority Leader Richard DeBolt's recent suggestion that the Legislature do all the work of cutting the budget, and whatever else might need to be done, in the 30-day special session that starts Nov. 28, then save the taxpayers some money by skipping  the regular 60-day session set to start in January. Think they could do that?

"I do not," she replied. Closing the gap between projected revenues and scheduled expenses will take all of the attention of the special session, even by giving legislators a "jump start" by previewing her budget options a month before they arrive.

"For December, I'm only asking them to focus on the budget...and any crisis we have out there." In January, the Legislature should "turn our attention to how we put Washington back to work."

She also denied a recent sale of bonds for the 520 bridge expansion, which relies on variable tolls that would be outlawed by Initiative 1125 if it passes, was intended as a way around the voters, as initiative sponsor Tim Eyman contended Thursday. The state has already begun work on the project, she said, and needs money to pay for it. "That was intended to pay our bills," she said of the bond sale.




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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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