State Reps. Kagi, Ortiz-Self, Ryu not surprised about special session

When Gov. Jay Inslee said Tuesday that he expects to call the legislature back for a special session, local representatives weren’t surprised.

Democratic State Reps. Ruth Kagi, Lillian Ortiz-Self and Cindy Ryu all had said before Inslee did that they expected a special session.

Ryu said Tuesday that the legislature simply was running out of time before the end of the 105-day regular session that’s scheduled to end Sunday.

Ryu, a member of the House Rules Committee, blamed Senate Republicans.

“The House (led by Democrats) was very cognizant of our schedule and met every cut-off deadline with purposeful and sincere efforts to pass meaningful policy bills and to fund them through our budget proposal,” she said in an e-mail. “Our intention and actions also met the mandates of various court decisions including McCleary to fully fund education.”

“Unfortunately, I understand the Republican-led Senate has yet to agree to negotiate the budget in any meaningful manner.”

The 2012 McCleary decision by the state Supreme Court requires the legislature to provide full state support for public education.

Kagi and Ryu represent the 32nd Legislative District including Lynnwood, Woodway and nearby unincorporated areas of southwest Snohomish County, parts of Edmonds and Mountlake Terrace, the City of Shoreline, and part of northwest Seattle.

Ortiz-Self said Wednesday that she expected a special session.

“It is imperative that we meet not only our legal obligations in regards to funding education and mental health, but also pass a comprehensive transportation package, she said. “The jobs generated by these budgets will continue to increase our jobs and strengthen our economy.”

A week earlier, Ortiz-Self had said that she hoped the special session “won’t last more than two weeks.”

Ortiz-Self represents the 21st Legislative District, including most of Edmonds, unincorporated areas north of Edmonds and Lynnwood and northeast of Lynnwood, all of Mukilteo and part of south Everett.

Democratic Rep. Derek Stanford told the Herald Tuesday that the legislature still could work this week on other issues because legislators have “plenty of work not tied to the budget.”

“You want to keep the momentum going and try to get done as much as possible,” he told Herald Olympia reporter Jerry Cornfield.

Kagi said in January that she thought the legislature could finish its work within the allotted 105-day period, but by Monday she said she expected a special session.

Democratic Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe was another who began the session cautiously optimistic about finishing on time but is now frustrated.

“There should be pressure on everyone,” she told Cornfield. “There’s got to be a way to find compromise here.”

McAuliffe and Stanford represent the 1st Legislative District including most of Mountlake Terrace and all of Brier and Bothell, unincorporated areas north and east of Bothell, part of north Kirkland, and unincorporated areas of King County between Bothell and Kirkland.

Evan Smith can be reached at schsmith@frontier.com.

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