Inslee calls for 3rd special session before government shutdown

Jun 21, 2017, 2:29 PM | Updated: 3:01 pm
Jay Inslee, government shutdown...
Gov. Jay Inslee discusses the potential for a Washington state government shutdown in July 2017. (TVW)

Governor Jay Inslee is calling for a third special session as Washington state inches closer to a government shutdown.

RELATED: What happens if Washington state shuts down?

Inslee appeared frustrated when he called for a first and second special session, and his demeanor did not change Wednesday as he expressed dissatisfaction with lawmakers. The third special session begins immediately.

“If the Legislature does not send me a budget by June 30, they have to live with the legacy of being the first Legislature ever to fail at doing the one job they are required to do,” Inslee said.

“I, as governor, have to crack the whip to make sure they don’t punt this again; they’ve been punting it too many months,” he said. “I’ve got to lay down the law and make it clear that they have a job to do and I expect them to do it.”

Inslee said that lawmakers have to stop passing a paper back-and-forth every day to negotiate the budget, and instead start swapping proposals every 10 minutes.  The “clock is ticking” he said, with nine days left to come up with a plan before the government shutdown.

Inslee said that he has heard some Republicans are considering passing a stopgap budget to cover 30 days. The governor called that idea “unacceptable” and said he would not approve it.

“They cannot continue to kick this can down the road,” Inslee said. “They have done so for many, many months. I want to be crystal clear, a government shutdown and a 30-day budget, are both equally reckless, equally irresponsible tactics that fail to deal with the long-term fiscal consequences of not doing their job.”

“I’m doing the terribly wasteful work of preparing the state for a shutdown,” Inslee said. “… I’m a lot more concerned about this than I was three or four days ago.”

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Inslee calls for 3rd special session before government shutdown