Gov. Jay Inslee said he is not dismissing the idea of extending existing taxes to help balance the state budget during his first press conference since taking the oath of office Wednesday.
While reaffirming his campaign pledge to not raise taxes, Inslee said that tax extensions will likely be considered as the legislature tries to close the gap on a $1 billion deficit and works to satisfy the McCleary decision on school funding.
The governor also offered a few more specifics on his plans for gun control legislation, saying the availability of guns that hold 30 or 100 rounds doesn’t make sense. Inslee voted in favor of the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban.
“It is the capacity of the ammunition that makes the difference,” he said.
He also defended his promise to offer tax incentives for clean energy programs, an idea that Republican leaders have criticized as “picking winners and losers.”
“I don’t think it is inconsistent with what we have done in the past. We have the world demanding clean energy.”
Inslee repeated support for the Reproductive Parity Act, a bill that would require insurance companies to cover abortions if they also cover live births. On Wednesday, Republican leaders criticized the governor for including the contentious social issue in his inaugural address.
“It’s a statement for future decades. This is a debate that should be behind us,” Inslee said.
The governor also said he had spoken with officials at Boeing and is confident in company’s ability to correct the battery problems that grounded its 787 Dreamliners this week.
“I am convinced that they are going to put safety first,” he said.
Watch the full press conference here.