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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Legislature nearing second special session

OLYMPIA – The Legislature slid toward a second special session Monday as negotiators remained too far apart to reconcile differences and reach a two-year budget deal.

Both chambers have passed an operating budget, but the two plans are so different that it would have been difficult to compromise before time ran out on the first special session at midnight tonight.

House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan, D-Covington, said the two sides might not be “light years apart,” as Gov. Jay Inslee said at the end of the regular session, but “we’re still somewhere out in space.”

With the state’s fiscal year starting July 1, the House passed a “bare-bones” measure to continue work on existing capital construction projects to prevent that work from grinding to a halt next month.

Inslee has said he will call a second special session to start Wednesday if legislators didn’t pass an operating budget, pass a plan to improve the state’s transportation system and toughen drunken-driving laws in the first special session. None has passed.

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