65th Legislature Ends in Special Session

The 2016 regular legislative session adjourned last night with the House and Senate at odds over a supplemental budget agreement. Immediately following adjournment, Governor Inslee issued a proclamation calling the legislature back into a special session, starting immediately. Special sessions have become the norm in Olympia, with 5 of the last 6 sessions resulting in at least one special session.

Following announcement of the special session, Governor Inslee held firm on a previous promise to start vetoing bills if the legislature did not reach an agreement on the supplemental budget by the end of business on March 10th.

In total, 27 bills were vetoed. The bills covered a wide range of topics, from wholesale vehicle dealers to the growing of industrial hemp.  Most had passed unanimously. Only two bills of those vetoed impact higher education, SB 6466 relating to services for students with disabilities and SB 6354 concerning reverse articulation agreements. The Governor also signed 10 bills, all relating to health and public safety.

With much work left to do on both the capital and operating budgets, both chambers continue to work to reach a deal with hopes of sending a budget to the governor’s desk within the next few days and avoiding any additional exercise of veto power. The final day of the 30-day special session will be Friday, April 8th.