Lawmakers may return to Olympia this week to end special session

  • By Jerry Cornfield
  • Monday, March 21, 2016 9:24am
  • Local News

While there’s no budget deal that would bring about the conclusion of the legislative special session, some lawmakers are anticipating one early this week.

Both the House and Senate are scheduled to hold pro forma sessions Monday, the 12th day of the extra session.

But several House and Senate members — none of whom are directly involved in negotiations — have said they’ve been told to be ready to return to Olympia as early as Tuesday to vote on bills related to a revamped spending plan.

The House, led by Democrats, and the Senate, led by Republicans, are wrangling over a supplemental budget.

One of the remaining differences is a House proposal to boost the starting salary for new teachers to help improve recruitment and retention of instructors. Senate Republicans want to talk about it 2017 when the Legislature is expected to redo the state’s approach to paying teachers and could consider hiking pay then.

Another issue is a House plan to ensure school districts do not lose out on millions of dollars in local property tax levies if the state misses its deadline in the McCleary case to adequately fund public schools. This matter, usually referred to as preventing districts from falling off the ‘levy cliff’, carries a price tag of around $90 million.

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