Gov skips graduation speech for budget talks

After a week of meeting with the governor behind closed doors, lawmakers emerged Friday with a tentative deal on an overall spending plan.

They haven’t agreed on how they will spend the billions, just the budget number or “the size of the box,” as some say. Negotiating the line-item details could last a couple of more weeks.

But at least the eight students at the Washington State School for the Blind can find solace the governor’s talks were productive on Friday.

Gov. Jay Inslee holds a press conference in support of the Columbia River Crossing after meeting with business leaders at the Vancouver Community Library on March 22, 2013. (Zachary Kaufman/The Columbian)

Gov. Jay Inslee was scheduled to speak at their graduation at 9:30 a.m. Friday, but with only a week’s notice had to cancel so he could meet with lawmakers about the budget.

Instead, Dr. Gene Sharratt, the director of the Washington Student Achievement Council spoke to the students. Janet Kurz, the school’s executive assistant, said there were no hard feelings and the school was excited for Sharratt, noting he’s a “phenomenal human being” and great speaker.

The consensus reached on Friday is expected to be key in breaking the budget impasse.

The 2015 legislative session was scheduled to adjourn April 26. The first special legislative session ended on May 28 and now legislators have until June 30 before a partial government shutdown.


Lauren Dake

Lauren Dake

Lauren Dake covers politics for The Columbian. You can reach her at 360-735-4534 or Follow her on Twitter .

Scroll to top