Inslee calls special session; lawmakers to return May 13


by KING 5 News and Associated Press

Posted on April 28, 2013 at 7:42 PM

After 105 days, the legislative session wrapped up in Olympia on Sunday. Gov. Jay Inslee then announced that a special session will convene on May 13 at 9 a.m.

Inslee said the focus will be on the budget, transportation and education.

Inslee said the parties are not miles apart, but "light years apart."

Inslee also said a new DUI package is nearly complete.

"I've long believed that we should have a much stronger approach... this is not a property crime, this is not a traffic offense, it is a fatality waiting to happen," he said.

Leaders in both the House and Senate had resigned themselves to the prospect of an overtime session.

"Not a lot has been accomplished in this regular session,” said Sen. Jeannine Darneille (D) Tacoma, who agreed that it is frustrating.

No matter the branch, no matter the party, few seemed pleased with their work.

"As a constituent myself, I'm not happy.  As a legislator, I'm very frustrated.  We should've got the job done," said Rep. Dan Kristiansen (R) Snohomish.

While several policy issues were passed and a baseline budget was approved, the bulk of the hard cuts and spending will have to wait for a special session. Simply put, there's too big a gulf between what the bi-partisan Senate and Democratic House want to pass.

This will be the sixth special session in three years for Washington lawmakers.