The Latest: Inslee wants Legislature to ban bump stocks
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The Latest on Gov. Jay Inslee’s state of the state address (all times local):
Gov. Jay Inslee told lawmakers in his annual state-of-the-state speech that there is work to do on fighting the opioid crisis, as well as addressing gun violence. He called on the Legislature to ban bump stocks, close the loophole on semi-automatic rifles, and require the safe storage of firearms.
While there is currently a moratorium on the death penalty, Inslee also called for an official end to the death penalty in the state.
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Gov. Jay Inslee told lawmakers to avoid a “legacy of irresponsible brinksmanship” when it comes to passage of a capital budget. Inslee told the Legislature that passage of the $4 billion two-year budget was a crucial first order of business this session.
It is absolutely crucial that we pass a capital budget as one of the first orders of business this session.
Lawmakers adjourned last year without passing the budget, leading to dozens of layoffs in the parks department, the Department of Enterprise Services and elsewhere.
The standoff over the budget was because of a dispute over how to address a court ruling related to water rights and well permits. Republicans — who were in the majority in the Senate last year, but are the minority party this year — have insisted on a fix to the ruling, known as the Hirst ruling, before they agree to pass the two-year budget that affects projects in districts across the state, including $1 billion for K-12 school construction and money to help build facilities for the state’s mental health system. It also pays the salaries of hundreds of state workers in various departments. Even though Democrats control both the House and the Senate now, they still need Republican votes to pass a bond bill necessary to implement the budget.
Gov. Jay Inslee in his state of the state speech called on lawmakers gathered for a joint meeting of the Legislature to commit to ensuring a workplace “where everyone is safe from sexual harassment and assault.”
Leaders in the House and Senate have been reviewing policies and procedures on how best to move forward on addressing sexual harassment, training and reporting procedures following a series of stories and allegations that have arisen out of the Washington Capitol in recent months. More than 200 women — including lobbyists and lawmakers — signed a letter in November calling for a culture change at the Capitol.
In his annual State of the State address, Gov. Jay Inslee told lawmakers that while they’ve passed a plan that satisfies a state Supreme Court mandate on education funding, they need to expedite the timeline in order to fully comply with the court’s orders. The court has given lawmakers this session to expedite that timeframe for putting about another $1 billion to fully pay for the teacher and staff salary portion of the plan.
He touted his supplemental budget proposal that calls for using the state reserves to do so.
Gov. Jay Inslee called for lawmakers to pass several bills to increase voter participation and equitable representation, saying that: “Access to democracy is a cornerstone to the enduring health of our nation and state.”
In his state of the state address Tuesday he also called on lawmakers to protect net neutrality for Washington residents following last month’s decision by the Federal Communications Commission to undo the Obama-era rules that meant to prevent broadband companies such as Comcast, AT&T and Verizon from exercising more control over what people watch and see on the internet
Gov. Jay Inslee is making a forceful push for a carbon tax in his annual state of the state address and urging lawmakers to quickly implement court-ordered increases in education funding.
Inslee, speaking before lawmakers Tuesday, said President Donald Trump is abandoning the global effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions but Washington state “will walk forward and join this battle for our world’s health future.”
The Democratic governor has previously said he wants to use state reserves to help pay for education improvements ordered by the state Supreme Court. He would backfill that reserve withdrawal with about $1 billion in carbon tax revenues.
In his speech Inslee said business, tribal, environmental and labor interests will be part of the conversation and that urban and rural areas would benefit from such a tax. Republicans, who are in the minority in the House and Senate, have been cool to the idea of a carbon tax.