Washington Governor Jay Inslee has called a Special Session

Washington Governor Jay Inslee has called a special session of the state legislature after lawmakers acknowledged this week that they would not reach a budget deal by the April 26 deadline. The session, which begins April 29, will last 30 days and will focus on continued negotiations over how the two-year budget will fund increases in public education spending that have been mandated by the state’s supreme court. The Democratic-controlled House supports creating new tax revenues while the Republican-controlled Senate is arguing that current tax revenues are sufficient. Washington’s fiscal year begins on July 1 and the state could face a government shutdown if no deal is reached by then. In addition to the budget, legislators are expected to consider a transportation package that would raise the state’s gasoline tax by nearly 12 cents per gallon to fund road and bridge projects.