Joining Washington Retail, the Seattle Times and Tacoma News Tribune both have editorialized in favor of Governor Inslee calling a special Legislative session this year to address a state budget crisis.
Both newspapers cite a Washington Research Council analysis that making spending cuts this year will avoid deeper cuts next year. Revenue shortfalls, many caused by COVID-19 pandemic mandated business closures earlier this year, have resulted in a projection of a $9 billion state revenue shortfall over the next three years. The shortfalls result from sales tax revenues and massive layoffs that resulted from the business shutdowns.
The state’ $3 billion saving account, if spent, would only delay deeper spending cuts in future years, the papers argue. Inslee has so far declined to call a special session saying the Legislature has not yet come to an agreement about what spending reduction actions to take. He’s also holding out hope for Democrat Presidential candidate Joe Biden to win the November election and a Democrat-controlled Congress to agree to send financial aid the state’s way.
The Times also noted that three of the Legislature’s four caucuses wanted a special session scheduled back in June, but still, Inslee declined to call one.