Lawmakers Say Goodbye To Olympia With Work Still Unfinished
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) – Washington lawmakers are preparing to adjourn their marathon legislative session for the year, but are leaving on a negative note after negotiations broke down on a water rights bill that was tied to passage of a new construction budget for the state.
Legislative leaders planned to adjourn Thursday, the last day of the most recent special session, though negotiators said they would continue their work next week on the water issue. Gov. Jay Inslee said he would only call the Legislature back town for another session if they reach a deal that allows a vote on the two-year $4 billion capital budget that has already been agreed to by all four caucuses.
Republicans in the House and Senate say that a fix to a recent state Supreme Court known as the Hirst decision must be passed first. That court ruling effectively limited the use of new domestic wells in certain rural areas when it harms senior water rights.