Governor calls 30-day special legislative session
Gov. Chris Gregoire has called a 30-day special legislative session beginning Nov. 28 to deal with a large state budget shortfall.
Gov. Chris Gregoire has called a 30-day special legislative session starting Nov. 28 to deal with a large state budget shortfall.
In a news conference Thursday, Gregoire said lawmakers would convene after the next state revenue forecast is released.
The sputtering economy is projected to leave the state with $1.4 billion less in tax revenue than expected between now and the end of June 2013, according to a forecast released last week.
The new projection, combined with a down forecast in June, wipes out the state's reserves and leaves a big hole in the budget.
Gregoire has already asked state agencies to prepare for cuts as high as 10 percent.
The Legislature is already scheduled to return in January, but Marty Brown, Gregoire's budget director, said the hole gets deeper every day that goes by.
"We've got to get to work," Brown said.
The bleak budget outlook comes just months after Gregoire and lawmakers relied on $4.6 billion in projected spending cuts — particularly to education — in order to fill a shortfall. Republicans have already vowed to oppose any tax increases, and they have the power to do so because of a voter-approved initiative that requires a two-thirds majority to raise taxes.
Democrats have talked about exploring ways to raise revenue, including the repeal of tax breaks.
Republicans, however, have vowed to oppose any tax increases.
Trending on seattletimes.com
Most viewed photo galleries
The Morning Memo
The Morning Memo jump starts your day with weather, traffic and news
Career Center Blog