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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Spin Control

Odds for Special Session looking pretty good

OLYMPIA -- There's no official announcement yet, but it doesn't take a crystal ball to predict the Legislature is headed for a special session.

In fact, Spin Control would put money on it, if we hadn't already lost our allotment for frivolous gambling on the March Madness bracket. But the signs are there.

Sign One: Budget negotiations between Senate Republicans and House Democrats broke off this week. And an operating budget for the coming biennium is the sort of like the legislators' reverse of American Express: They can't go home without it. 

Sign Two: Legislators are proposing significant changes to the local school levy system, which is so complicated it couldn't be perfected, understood and passed by April 26, the last scheduled day of the regular session, unless the Legislature had 147 Einsteins. 

Sign Three: The Legislature was tentatively scheduled to work through this weekend, which would probably be necessary if they were going to wrap up everything by next weekend. Today both chambers adjourned until Monday. The Senate isn't due back until 1:25 p.m. Monday for what's currently listed as a "pro forma" (Latin for "we don't do anything important") session.

At this point, it looks like the over-under on the 105-day session is a sucker bet for anyone who would take the under. Perhaps someone should set up a pool for when the first leader of a legislative caucus will say "We need a special session."

Jim Camden
Jim Camden joined The Spokesman-Review in 1981 and retired in 2021. He is currently the political and state government correspondent covering Washington state.

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