Lawmakers Budget action cant wait

first_imgThe three Clark County legislators who serve on the state’s Economic and Revenue Forecast Council agreed Thursday that action on the ballooning state deficit can’t wait until the Legislature convenes in January for its 2011 session.State economist Arun Raha predicted that the state will collect $1.2 billion less than expected through June 2013, widening the revenue gap both for the current fiscal year and for the next biennium.Local lawmakers differed, however, on exactly what should be done, and when.“I think we’re going to have to do a special session,” said state Rep. Ed Orcutt, R-Kalama. “I think it would be best done when the House convenes for assembly days on (December) 9th and 10th. The budget-writers need to be working on proposals between now and then.”During a special session, lawmakers could make adjustments to the controversial 6.3 percent across-the-board cuts already ordered by Gov. Chris Gregoire, said Orcutt, the ranking Republican on the House Finance Committee. “I would not call for a special session right now,” said state Sen. Craig Pridemore, D-Vancouver, a member of the budget-writing Senate Ways and Means Committee. “I would call all the budget-writers together in the House and Senate, all four caucuses and the governor’s office, and come up with a proposal that both parties can sign off on. As soon as we get agreement, we should call a special session.”last_img read more