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April 6, 2007

There will be a state rainy day fund

Posted by David Postman at 7:01 AM

One of the biggest splits among the ruling Democrats in Olympia has been the House's refusal to back the constitutionally protected budget reserve fund supported by Gov. Christine Gregoire, Senate Democrats and the minority Republicans.

House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Helen Sommers doesn't like the idea and didn't include it in the House budget. But House Majority Leader Lynn Kessler told me Thursday that the House will agree to send voters a proposed constitutional amendment creating a rainy day fund — whether or not Sommers agrees. Kessler said:

"We'll get it. It isn't something the chair wanted. But we're going to do it. We want her to come along."

Kessler said she met with Gregoire about the rainy day fund Thursday morning and the governor made it clear it would have to be done or she would call lawmakers back to special session. Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown told me today that it was also a "go-home" issue for Senate Democrats as well. And that means they won't go home without it.

The Senate passed Senate Joint Memorial 8206 on Feb. 21 on a 45-3 vote.

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