State Treasurer Duane Davidson has joined some state legislators calling on Governor Jay Inslee to call a special session to address damage to government finances from the COVID-19 virus outbreak.
“If nothing else, I think the legislature meeting sooner on this might convey some goodwill to the taxpayers and voters out there in the state that we’re taking this very seriously,” Davidson said. “I think that can help build the confidence which we will need at this point.”
The online news site The Lens reported the comments in connection with a story about the Economic Revenue Forecast Council’s latest state economic review. It anticipates 446,000 fewer jobs this year compared to a February projection issued before the arrival of the virus in Washington State. It also forecasts a state revenue shortfall of up to $7 billion in the next four years. Job losses from business closures ordered to slow the spread of the virus resulted in nearly two million unemployment claims being filed in the state since March 7.
Inslee has so far not indicated when or whether he will call a special session. Legislators are awaiting a scheduled June 17 state revenue forecast to determine what further budget action might be necessary by the Legislature. The part-time Legislature normally meets starting in January for less than half the year.