Inslee calls 2nd OT session, calls out Senate’s ‘ideological agenda’

tvw-inslee-13jun11OLYMPIA (June 11, 2013) — Governor Jay Inslee notified state legislators today that he was immediately calling a third session of the Legislature — which will begin Wednesday — to pass the state’s budget and fund education. More importantly, he called out the Republican-controlled Senate for refusing to compromise in budget negotiations while continuing to demand action an “ideological wish list” of policy bills unrelated to the budget.

“The budget and funding education is our priority and our paramount duty, and that’s where our focus needs to be,” Inslee said at today’s news conference. “The Senate majority is trying to leverage our obligation to Washington’s schoolchildren in order to pass its ideological agenda.”

That’s why the House and the Democratic Party took (policy bills) off the table. I believe nothing should get in the way of meeting our constitutional and moral duty to fund education for our children. But on policy, the Senate went to the edges, not to the middle. They said they wouldn’t fund education unless an unrelated set of policy bills was passed first. This should be a debate about education funding, not workers’ compensation, not tax breaks for millionaires, not anti-teacher bills, and certainly not anything like payday lending.

(See the entire press conference below.)

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Inslee said he is convening his top staff to make contingency plans for an unprecedented July 1 shutdown of state government if legislators refuse to pass a budget. But he said he remains optimistic that can be avoided by all parties staying focused on their paramount duty, setting aside their agendas not related to the budget, and making compromises.

“I won’t give up,” the governor said. “I’m committed to finding a solution that’s fair to all parties and meets our obligation to Washington’s schoolchildren. My vision will not be clouded by ideology. I take my responsibility to govern seriously and I’m going to work diligently to prevent us from getting to July 1 without a budget.”

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