State election officials learned Wednesday they won’t be getting an extra $1 million to cover the costs of a special election to replace U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee. Lawmakers did not include any money in the state budget they passed Wednesday before adjourning and heading home. House and Senate budget writers of both parties discussed adding a proviso into the budget to cover some or all of the estimated expenses but couldn’t reach agreement, said Sen. Ed Murray, D-Seattle, chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee. “It was a last-minute thing. It was the last day,” Murray said. “It was a large number and there was no time to scrub it.”
When a 30-day special session ended at midnight Tuesday, lawmakers still had not finished work on a slew of budget and reform bills. It was nearly sunrise Wednesday when the House and Senate approved a supplemental budget that relied on a mix of cuts, transfers and a little new tax revenue to plug a $500 million hole.
Secretary of State Sam Reed had requested $770,000 to cover costs incurred by the three counties in which ballots will be cast. He also sought $225,000 for a campaign to educate voters about the election. He envisioned sending information-filled postcards to voters.