OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- Gov. Chris Gregoire says that a special session to deal with the state's budget shortfall is inevitable, and that she is giving lawmakers until Thursday to pick the best day to hold it.

Gregoire said Monday that if lawmakers don't present her with a date on Thursday, she'll pick a date for them, but says that it will happen before the Christmas holiday.

Gregoire announced the deadline after meeting with Republican and Democratic leaders in the House and Senate Monday afternoon. Gregoire has been in talks with legislative leaders on ideas to patch the current state budget, which covers general spending through June 2011.

Gregoire made across-the-board cuts to many programs earlier this year, but the deficit recently grew to more than $1 billion because of slow growth in tax collections.

Read or Share this story: