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Lawmakers called back to Olympia to address budget shortfall

OLYMPIA - Yesterday, Thursday, Gov. Christine Gregoire announced she will call for a 30-day special session of the Legislature beginning Nov. 28 to address the state's budget shortfall.

Last week, the state's chief economist reported that revenues are still expected to be greater in the current budget cycle than the last. However, the 2011-13 budget passed in May by the Legislature exceeds the latest revenue projections by $1.27 billion.

Rep. Bruce Chandler, R-Granger, was in Olympia yesterday for a House Ways and Means Committee meeting to review the economic outlook and the implementation of the budget passed four months ago.

"I look forward to preparing for a special session and addressing our budget problem sooner than later," Chandler said. "However, we need to ensure we have a solid foundation for the special session to ensure we use the time wisely and accomplish our objective - to pass a sustainable supplemental budget."

He added, "I agree with the governor that we cannot continue across-the-board cuts. This is irresponsible and short-sighted."

The 2011 session ended May 25 after a 30-day special session. The 2012 regular session is scheduled to begin Jan. 9.

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