Special session odds increase as deadline nears

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- Gov. Chris Gregoire says that if lawmakers don't make significant progress toward a budget deal by the end of the day, it will be "very difficult" to avoid a special legislative session.

However, Gregoire said she wouldn't give up on the goal of having a budget passed by midnight Thursday, when the regular 60-day legislative session is scheduled to end. Gregoire did say logistically it is getting more difficult to ensure a Thursday budget. She says it's possible lawmakers could have a deal before Thursday, but may have to come back for a one-day session to pass the budget.

Majority Democrats have been forced to negotiate with Senate Republicans, who were able to pass their own budget plan off the Senate floor last weekend with the help of three conservative Democrats.