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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