Good morning. The clock is ticking down to the Legislature’s adjournment and a special session is looking more and more likely.
- With a tax plan approved by the House, talks are under way, but House and Senate members are finding it hard to even speak the same language. Sen. Rodney Tom said the House is using “Monopoly money” to set its spending and revenue targets. Some legislators, meanwhile, think the Senate has its own counting problems with its projected savings from closing McNeil Island prison. And that’s before they even get to the big question of which taxes to raise, like the Senate-proposed sales tax hike that Gov. Chris Gregoire sees as a potential job killer.
- One thing that does seem to have wrapped up: the response to the Maurice Clemmons case. A day after approval of a constitutional amendment on bail for the fall ballot, lawmakers moved on most of the remaining police and corrections issues, reaching deals on benefits for law enforcement survivors, punishments for criminal assistance, and how to pressure the interstate compact that governs parolees. Speaking of the compact, its top official has an answer for the Washington politicians who want to pull out of the agreement.
- Gregoire plans to sign some bills today, mostly noncontroversial measures like encouraging the state to contract with veteran-owned businesses and protecting people who report drug overdoses from facing charges.