Wrap (1:45 total):

Still no budget breakthrough in Olympia, where Senate Republicans continue to boycott negotiations that could produce a compromise bipartisan state operating budget. They’ve begun to meet House Democrats at the table to hammer out differences on education policy, which will be an important part of the final agreement.  But in other crucial areas – public safety, healthcare, environmental issues, the social safety net – the Democrats who run the House of Representatives are talking to empty chairs.

Representative Kristine Lytton is the Democratic lawmaker from Anacortes who chairs the House Finance Committee. She’s a key member of the Democratic negotiating team, and she’s frustrated.

LYTTON: “You know, I think we’re seeing some of the discord filter down to the state level. What we’re seeing in the news is so outrageous sometimes that it emboldens different people to act differently than they normally would.  Senate Republicans refuse to negotiate on any other aspects of our budget, and that’s pretty dysfunctional.” [:20]

Republicans, who hold a one-seat majority in the Senate, say they won’t take part in overall budget talks unless the House Democrats agree to vote for higher taxes – a demand the Democrats have rejected. Republicans, for their part, have endorsed a plan that would hike property taxes in 292 of the state’s 295 school districts while returning nearly four thousand dollars less per student than the initial Democratic proposal.

Lytton says that plan is DOA, and that it illustrates why negotiations need to begin soon.

LYTTON: “We need to build the middle class and quit hitting them with additional taxes all the time.  We were all elected to solve problems and we’re up against a deadline.” [:08]

The current 30-day special session expires this Tuesday, and it’s a given at this point that Governor Jay Inslee will have to call for another, presumably to begin bright and early Wednesday morning.  In Olympia, I’m Dan Frizzell.