Politics & Government

State House plans to be back in session Friday

The state House of Representatives will be back in session Friday.

Rep. Joe Schmick, R- Colfax, confirmed this evening to the Tri-City Herald that he had received an e-mail stating the House will return Friday and, if necessary, wrap up on April 9-13.

The Legislature went into a 30-day special session to balance the $2.8 billion deficit in the operating budget. The session ends at midnight April 13.

Rep. Larry Haler, R-Richland, said the House might take a vote on the state employee furlough bill Friday, then finish the budget the next weekend.

The Senate will be on the floor beginning Thursday morning to pass a few remaining bills over to the House, which is set to come into a formal session at 10 a.m. Friday to approve those bills.

If agreement is reached on a tax package, lawmakers will go home for the weekend. Then, Monday, negotiators and staffers would prepare paperwork needed for final bill passage next the week.

The size and content of a tax package is holding up the show.

Some House tax proposals are controversial or haven’t gained enough votes in the Senate — such as taxes on banks’ mortgage interest earnings and custom software, and ending a tax exemption for out-of-state shoppers in border counties. The House lacks votes for the Senate’s replacement idea, a 0.2 percent temporary sales-tax increase that would end in June 2013.