South County Politics: Legislators look to extended special session

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Ruth Kagi

Democratic State Rep. Ruth Kagi and Democratic State Sen. Guy Palumbo both anticipate that the Legislature may need to work beyond the scheduled 30-day special session that started Monday. Democratic State Rep. Shelley Kloba, however, expresses hope that the Legislature can finish in one 30-day special session.

Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee called the Legislature into special session last week with the Republican-controlled State Senate and Democratic-controled House of Representatives far apart on a two-year state budget. Among the issues: How to pay for full state financial support for basic public education as ordered by the State Supreme Court, and what taxes will be required.

Kagi said Saturday that “sadly” lawmakers may need more than one special session to complete its work.

Palumbo said Sunday that he thought that Senate majority Republicans probably were waiting for the state’s mid-June budget forecast, something that would come near the end of a second special session.

Shelley Kloba

Kloba said Monday that she hopes that the Legislature will finish its work in one session if Republicans are willing to negotiate, adding that Democrats will fight to protect social programs.

“Democrats are ready and willing to have the conversation,” she said, adding, “A key concept we are firm on is not balancing the budget on the backs of our vulnerable residents nor overburdening our low-income and middle class working families.”

Kagi was in the Legislature two years ago when legislators went into a third special session, finally completing a budget just before the June 30 deadline to avoid a state-government shutdown and working into July to pass some bills needed to implement that budget.

agi represents the 32nd Legislative District, including the city of Lynnwood, parts of Edmonds and Mountlake Terrace, Woodway and nearby unincorporated areas of southwest Snohomish County, the city of Shoreline and part of northwest Seattle. She is a member of the House Appropriations Committee, chairwoman of the House committee on early learning and social services and a member of the House Environment Committee.

Kloba and Palumbo represent the 1st Legislative District, including most of Mountlake Terrace, all of Brier and Bothell, north Kirkland, unincorporated areas of King County between Bothell and Kirkland, and unincorporated areas of Snohomish County north and east of Bothell, including the Maltby area.

Kloba is vice chairwoman of both the House committee on commerce and gaming and the House committee on technology and economic development, and a member of the House Transportation Committee. Palumbo is ranking Democratic minority member of the Senate Higher Education Committee.

–By Evan Smith

Evan Smith can be reached at schsmith@frontier.com.

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