Washington Governor Chris Gregoire's call for a special legislative session for November sounds on its face questionable. Legislators will be coming to town in regular session not so long after that - probably within a month after it adjourns.
Still, the budget numbers have been worsening at a heady clip, so the argument for action sooner than even that does have some weight. Olympia Republican Representative Gary Alexander, after the announcement: “Budget leaders can begin the process now. The longer we wait to address the issue, the harder the budget problem will be to solve." Not a bad point.
And there is one other. By focusing on budget adjustments in December, there should be a better ability to focus on other things - economic problem-solving - in January. That clearly seemed a driver in Gregoire's thinking; her release on the call noted she wanted "to spend the regular session focusing on policy bills to support job creation and economic growth." Passage might be a little easier than way, with fewer opportunities, in some quarter or other, for hostage-taking.
So how long will be the special be? Don't figure on a lot less than 30 days, though there'll surely be a strong push to get home well in advance of Christmas.