This Washington

Jolt: Inslee Announces Special Session, Blasts Republicans

Inslee accuses Republicans of failing to compromise on budget.

By Josh Feit June 11, 2013


Announcing that a second special session of the legislature would begin tomorrow at 9 AM, Gov. Jay Inslee blasted the Republican-dominated Majority Coalition Caucus for refusing to compromise.

"On policy, the senate went to the edges not to the middle."—Gov. Jay Inslee

Specifically, Inslee denounced five "ideological" policy bills the MCC has put on the table as must-have legislation. Inslee said the "My way or the highway" stance has stalled budget negotiations. The legislature needs to fill a $900 million shortfall and meet the state Supreme Court's McCleary mandate to add around $1 billion to K-12 education. They have until July 1 before the current budget expires.

The MCC bills are:

1) A bill to cap non-education spending at six percent of new revenues

2) A bill, known as "mutual consent" that allows principals to reject teachers that have been reassigned to their schools

3) A workers' compensation bill that would expand employers' ability to offer one-time settlements to injured workers

4) A bill that would amend the voter-approved toxics cleanup fund by allowing private companies to use the fund to pay for their toxic sites

5) A bill to undo tough restrictions on payday loans

The senate passed the first three bills this weekend and sent them over to the Democratic house. The remaining two are in the queue.

"Civility won't solve the problem," Inslee said. "We need some movement and compromise."

Inslee, saying he and the Democrats have given up on their own liberal priority policy bills—the DREAM Act (allowing children of undocumented immigrants to get state college financial aid), the Reproductive Parity Act (making insurance companies that cover maternity care also cover abortion), and closing the gun show loophole—admonished the MCC, which he called a "Republican majority caucus," for "trying to leverage our obligation to Washington's school children in order to pass its ideological agenda." 

This is a must-see TV, particularly for those who are used to governor's of the recent past—Chris Gregoire and Gary Locke—who acted as referees. This is a defining moment for Inslee who took the gloves off this morning and joined the fray, squarely on the side of the house Democrats saying that the Republicans, who have refused to close the estate tax loophole for a $160 million budget line item (unless their policy bills are passed), were prioritizing tax breaks for millionaires over educating kids. 

"Civility won't solve the problem," Inslee said. "We need some movement and compromise."

Watch all 30 minutes here.

Some highlights here:

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