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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spin Control

Spec Sess Day 14: Expect the Easter Bunny before a state budget deal

OLYMPIA -- Washington may get a visit from the Easter Bunny sooner than lawmakers get a budget deal.

And for people who want to argue the Easter Bunny isn't real -- well, so far neither is a budget deal.

A spokeswoman for the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus said Wednesday that lawmakers have not yet reached agreement on the supplemental operating budget, which was the subject of discussions, debate, disagreement and negotiations during the 60-day regular session and forced them into a special session two weeks ago.

Wednesday was the 14th day of the special session, although most lawmakers have been away from the capital for much of that time. A few key members of the budget committees and leaders of the House and Senate have been around for negotiations and to handle the "pro forma" duties of convening and adjourning the Legislature each day. On Tuesday, the Senate session lasted a full 28 seconds.

Budget negotiations continue, Kimberly Wirtz said. There aren't many details other than they haven't reached a deal yet.

"We don't expect members to return this week," she said.

With Easter on Sunday, some staff have speculated lawmakers won't be called back for votes until Monday, allowing Eastern Washington to make the long trip back on Monday rather than the holiday.

By law, the special session can last 30 days, which would mean a second special session would be needed if lawmakers don't reach a deal by April 9.

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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