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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

The Legislature is now in an extended, or “special” session.  House and Senate majority Democrats were unable to come to a budget agreement in the constitutionally-allotted 60-day session.  As a result, Governor Gregoire has called a special session – at a cost of about $18,000 per-day – in order to decide which of your taxes they’ll raise to close our state’s $2.7 billion budget shortfall.

Here’s part of an e-mail sent to me from Asotin County Sheriff Ken Bancroft when he read last week’s e-newsletter about the expected daily cost of special session:

“Thanks for the update concerning the special session in your e-newsletter.  What will be spent on the session after just five days would completely outfit one new deputy for my office with all equipment including a patrol car and pay his/her wages for 1 year – including overtime!”

And what do we have to show for this week’s work?  Here’s a running tally of the work we did this week, taken from my notes:

Monday – 0 hours

Tuesday – 3 hours, 45 min. = on the House floor and voted on 16 bills, most of which had already passed the House during the regular session.

Wednesday – 1 hour, 42 min. = on the House floor; voted on a couple bills; spent literally hours waiting for the D’s to come out from behind closed doors…waiting…waiting…waiting…

Thursday – 1 hour, 15 min. = in Ways and Means Committee

Friday – 12 min. (as of 5:00 p.m.)

GRAND TOTAL = 6 hours, 54 min. at a cost of around ($18,000 x 5) $90,000.

This has NOT been taxpayers’ money well-spent.  Every day we’re here in Olympia is another example of the failed leadership of the majority party and the disconnect between legislative leaders and the public.


Joe Schmick

State Representative Joe Schmick, 9th Legislative District
426B Legislative Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7844 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000