Rep. Jenkin frustrated by Hirst, budget

— As the aftershock of the Legislature’s failure to approve a $4 billion capital budget continues to grow, state Rep. Bill Jenkin said he and other local legislators thought a deal had been reached to allow its passage as the clock ticked down last week.

But when negotiations broke down on a water-rights bill tied to passage of the capital budget, the longest legislative session in state history ended Thursday with many lawmakers going home frustrated, the Prosser Republican said.

Jenkin represents the 16th Legislative District, which covers all of Walla Walla and Columbia counties and portions of Franklin and Benton counties.

“Everything was going great until the last day,” Jenkin said.

He said he understood there was a “handshake agreement” among Democrat and Republican factions to pass the capital budget legislation.

That fell apart.

“It’s just totally frustrating,” he said.

Although Jenkin said he hoped the governor would call a fourth special session, “We left feeling that we wouldn’t be called back, and I haven’t heard anything from the (Republican) caucus,” he said.


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