"I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions. But laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors." - Thomas Jefferson (appears in the Jefferson Memorial)

30 or less?

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.

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