- Associated Press - Monday, March 28, 2016

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - Lawmakers on Monday started moving toward a conclusion of their overtime special session, nearing an official announcement on a budget deal and beginning legislative overrides of 27 gubernatorial vetoes.

Republican Sen. John Braun, one of the Senate’s main budget negotiators, said that news on the budget was likely to come sometime in the afternoon.

Meanwhile, the Senate returned to the floor to pass several bills. They also started taking votes to override the vetoes of 27 bills earlier this month by Gov. Jay Inslee out of frustration because lawmakers were not able to complete their work during the regular 60-day legislative session.

The House is not expected to return to take votes in that chamber until Tuesday.

Democratic House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan said that his caucus would discuss the veto overrides on Tuesday. Sullivan said that now that the governor has signaled he was OK with the overrides, it’s likely his members would be willing to take that rare action.

“A lot of people are hesitant to override the governor if the governor doesn’t want to be overridden,” he said.

In a written release Monday afternoon, Inslee said he was pleased with lawmakers’ progress on the budget. He said he had no objection to the planned veto overrides by the Legislature, which under the state constitution has to the power to take such action with a two-thirds majority vote in both the House and Senate.

“There’s public interest in getting them back,” Republican Majority Leader Mark Schoesler said Monday morning.

The last time the Legislature overrode a veto was in 1998, said Hunter Goodman, secretary of the Senate.

“I appreciate the work of both House and Senate members who have been working hard these past few weeks to reach agreement,” Inslee wrote. “I look forward to seeing an agreement on a supplemental budget as soon as possible and a timely finish to the special session.”


AP writer Walker Orenstein contributed to this report.

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