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Gov. Gregoire calls for special legislative session

For Immediate Release: April 22, 2011

OLYMPIA – Gov. Chris Gregoire today announced she will be calling the Legislature into a special session starting Tuesday, April 26 at 9 a.m.

“This Legislature has come together in the toughest of times and done significant work in this session on behalf of Washington,” Gregoire said. “But there is more work to be done. Starting Tuesday the Legislature will continue to work together to chart a new course and to transform Washington’s government. And I pledge to help them finish the job.”

With bipartisan Legislative leadership at her side, Gregoire said lawmakers have agreed to keep the special session focused on the budget, and the bills required to implement the budget. Gregoire urged quick action on cost-saving issues like workers compensation reform.

“Several of the proposals I made in the beginning of session were met with bipartisan support, and are already signed into law,” Gregoire said. “At a time when businesses, especially small businesses, are crucial to our recovery, we’ve acted to give them the opportunity to grow and hire. At a time when the competition for jobs is fierce, we’ve acted to give our students the opportunity to start their careers through the Launch Year Act.”

Gregoire also praised the Legislature for its work to get injured workers better care and get back to their jobs sooner, while saving workers and employers $218 million over four years. She thanked legislators for acting on one of the state’s largest budget busters – the cost of pensions. Legislation just passed will save our state more $360 million in the coming budget alone. And she noted the Legislature’s work to pass important bills that show our commitment to a clean-energy economy, including legislation that will transition the state’s only coal-fired power plant off of coal starting in 2020.

“To date, the Legislature has delivered or will deliver more than 370 bills to my desk,” Gregoire said. “All but two of them passed with bipartisan support.”