In what may be the most positive sign of the night, House Capital Budget chair Hans Dunshee, D-Snohomish, and ranking Republican Judy Warnick of Moses Lake, just walked into the Senate chambers with non-partisan budget staff.
Legislators have been clear that there will be no deal on the capital budget until the operating budget is agreed to. In addition, lawmakers have said that there will be no operating budget agreement until there is agreement on the three reform bills that Republicans and their three coalition Democrats have said is needed to "go home." But before we read too much into it, they might just be trying to get a jump on the budget so they don't have to repeat the overnighter from last year.
Meanwhile, Sen. Rodney Tom, D-Bellevue, went home to be with family on Friday and hasn't returned. He is expected to be available tomorrow. And Senator Mike Hewitt, R-Walla Walla, dropped by the Capitol today less than a week from having major surgery to remove a tumor.
Of course, anything can happen. While Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown, D-Spokane, said they had an agreement about an hour ago, less than 20 minutes later Senate Republicans said there was no agreement. Others in the know are either tight-lipped or nowhere to be found.
The Senate released a list of bills they planned to take up this evening, and around 9:30 p.m. moved to suspend the rule to allow the Senate to work past 10 p.m. Lawmakers who have been milling about all day are starting to get rummy, with a group of Senate Republicans just recently singing the march of guards from the Wizard of Oz as they returned to the Senate chambers.
Update: senators are leaving the building; returning tomorrow at 9 a.m.
The House adjourned earlier today without passing any bills. They will reconvene Tuesday at 9 a.m.