Archive for Governors Office

Drone task force set to meet Monday

By | June 26, 2014 | 0 Comments

TVW will be live at 9 a.m. on Monday, June 30 with the first meeting of the state’s drone task force.

Gov. Jay Inslee created the task force after vetoing House Bill 2789, which would have required public agencies such as police departments to obtain a warrant before using a drone, except during emergencies. It would have allowed public agencies to use drones for training, testing, wildlife and environmental monitoring.

Inslee asked the task force to examine the privacy concerns surrounding unmanned aerial vehicles, and to come up with proposed legislation for the 2015 session.

The Unmanned Aerial Systems Task Force meeting will be held from 9 am. to noon on June 30 in the ABC Conference Room of the Cherburg Building at the Capitol. The group is expected to meet four times this year.

TVW is producing a one-hour documentary this summer about drones — watch a short preview below on the latest edition of “The Impact:”

Categories: Drone, Governors Office

Marijuana retail stores set to open July 8, but may not be selling edibles at first

By | June 24, 2014 | 0 Comments

Edible pot food such as brownies and candy likely will not be on the shelves when Washington’s first legal marijuana stores open their doors on July 8.

The Washington State Liquor Control Board is expected to adopt an emergency rule requiring prior approval of the labels that go on edibles before the pot-infused food can be sold at retail stores. (Update: The emergency rule was formally adopted by the board on Wednesday.)

The labels cannot feature cartoon figures or appeal to children. The packages must include scoring to show serving sizes, along with other requirements. Makers of pot-infused food can get approval for their products by submitting a photo of the package to the Liquor Control Board. If rejected, the board has an appeals process.

So far, no labels have been submitted to the board for approval. Twenty marijuana stores are expected to open on July 8, although the store locations have not yet been released.

In advance of the opening date, state officials are also launching a public campaign to dissuade anyone under the age of 21 from using marijuana. Gov. Jay Inslee said at a press conference Tuesday that the statewide campaign is “essential to protect the human health of our kids.”

“If we fail to act, this effort to legalize marijuana could be in some doubt,” Inslee said.

And it’s not just kids that the state is trying to educate. “One of our concerns is the adult consumers that maybe haven’t had marijuana in a long time, or are new users,” said Liquor Control Board Chair Sharon Foster.

‘The marijuana of today is not the marijuana of the ’60s,” warned Foster, who said she was told by an emergency room doctor that most marijuana-related cases are Baby Boomers.

Foster said the board is also trying to get out the message that people may have to wait up to two hours before they begin feeling the effects of edible pot food.

Edibles have come under scrutiny in Colorado after a 19-year-old student fell to his death from a hotel balcony after eating six pot cookies. Colorado is now weighing potency rules for edibles.

Watch the press conference below:

On TVW: Safety at marijuana stores, examination of criminal justice system

By | June 24, 2014 | 0 Comments

TVW will be live with several events on Tuesday, June 24, including:

10 a.m.: The governor’s Results Washington group will meet to discuss its “education” initiative. TVW will live webcast the meeting, which will cover topics such as early learning and the opportunity gap.

10 a.m.: The House Finance Committee is holding a work session on the fiscal sustainability of cities and counties. The agenda is available here, and TVW will live webcast the meeting at this link.

12:30 p.m.: TVW will be live on television and the web with a press conference by Gov. Jay Inslee, who will discuss public safety efforts as the state prepares to open its first recreational marijuana retail stores. Also speaking at the press conference will be Attorney General Bob Ferguson, Washington State Liquor Control Board Chair Sharon Foster, and State Health Officer Kathy Lofy. The press conference will be live streamed at this link.

2 p.m.: Inslee will sign an executive order creating the Justice Reinvestment Task Force, which will conduct a data-driven review of the state’s criminal justice system. Washington state was selected to be one of 22 states to participate in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Justice Reinvestment Initiative. Following the signing of the executive order, the task force will hold its first meeting. TVW will live webcast the event at this link, and it will be broadcast on television at a later time.

Categories: Governors Office, TVW

Inslee signs executive order that aims to reduce carbon pollution

By | April 29, 2014 | 0 Comments

Gov. Jay Inslee advanced his climate change agenda on Tuesday, signing an executive order that he says will result in legislative and executive action next year.

One key part of the executive order appoints a task force to come up with recommendations for a market-based program to reduce carbon pollution in Washington state. The 21-member task force includes representatives from business, labor, environmental and health groups.

Inslee met with the Carbon Emissions Reduction Taskforce shortly after signing the executive order at Shoreline Community College on Tuesday.

The governor told the group he doesn’t expect proposals that are “neatly packaged with a bow.” Instead, he called on them to use “creative thought grounded in reality” to come up with multiple policy solutions.

“Inaction is not a solution,” Inslee said.

Task force co-chair Rod Brown of the Cascadia Law Group expressed optimism about the group’s ability to come up with proposals.

“I think we can actually do this and do it relatively quickly and without too much trouble,” Brown said. “You might not think that’s possible if you listen to all the rhetoric about climate change, but when you get down the the level of finding the tools to fight carbon pollution, it turns out it is not that hard.”

Inslee told reporters the executive order “will result in action, both at the executive level and a program that will be presented to the Legislature next January.”

In addition to creating the task force, the executive order directs the governor’s budget office to study the costs and benefits of requiring clean fuel standards, also known as low-carbon fuel standards. It also calls for state agencies to work with utilities to reduce — and eventually eliminate — electrical power produced from coal.

The executive order requires action in a total of seven areas. All recommendations must be submitted to the governor by November, according to his spokesman.

Legislative Republicans oppose the idea of low-carbon fuel standards, and say it will result in higher gas prices.

“We have only to look to California to see where the high cost of cap-and-trade policies will take Washington: a projected 40-cent spike in the cost of a gallon of gas,” said Sen. Doug Ericksen, Republican chair of the Senate Energy, Environment and Telecommunications Committee.

“California is now embroiled in costly litigation over its cap-and-trade policies and has suspended the implementation of its low-carbon fuel standards due to massive compliance problems. These are the same policies that Gov. Inslee is determined to impose on Washington,” Ericksen said.

Ericksen also criticized the governor convening the task force on Tuesday without notifying the public or the Legislature.

TVW taped Tuesday’s press conference — watch it here.

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Categories: Governors Office

On TVW this week: Retirement insecurity, outdoor task force, fish and wildlife meeting

By | April 7, 2014 | 0 Comments

Here are the events TVW is covering live this week:

Tuesday, April 8 at 10 a.m.: TVW will live broadcast a work session held by Democratic lawmakers on the issue of retirement insecurity. Several experts will discuss retirement issues faced by many of the state’s residents.

Participants include Sen. Steve Conway (D-Tacoma), Sen. Karen Keiser (D-Kent), Sen. Bob Hasegawa (D-Seattle), Sen. Maralyn Chase (D-Shoreline), Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-Seattle); plus Diane Oakley, Executive Director, National Institute on Retirement Security; Teresa Ghilarducci, Director Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis, The New School For Social Research; Terry Gardiner, VP Policy and Strategy, Small Business Majority; and Ingrid McDonald, Advocacy Director, AARP Washington.

Wednesday, April 9 at 9 a.m.: TVW will live webcast the first meeting of the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Parks and Outdoor Recreation, which was established by Gov. Jay Inslee in an executive order. The 28-member task force must come up with a plan by September to promote Washington’s parks and outdoor recreation assets, with a focus on increasing jobs and outdoor activities. The meeting agenda is available here. The task force includes 16 members involved in recreation businesses or organizations, such as REI and Sierra Club, four legislators and eight state agency representatives.

Watch the live webcast at this link.

April 11-12, 8:30 a.m.: TVW will live webcast the two day meeting of the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission. The full agenda is available here. Webcast links can be found on TVW’s daily schedule page.

Drone bill vetoed by Gov. Inslee

By | April 4, 2014 | 0 Comments

Citing privacy concerns, Gov. Jay Inslee vetoed a drone bill Friday and announced he is temporarily banning all state agencies from purchasing or using drones for the next 15 months except during emergencies or natural disasters.

“I’m very concerned about the effects of this new technology on our citizens’ right to privacy,” Inslee said before vetoing a bill that would have put restrictions on how public agencies are allowed to use drones.

House Bill 2789 would have required public agencies such as police departments to obtain a warrant before using a drone, except during emergencies when there is immediate danger of death or injury. It also would have allowed drones to be used for training, testing, wildlife and environmental monitoring.

Calling it “one of the most complex bills” his office has analyzed, Inslee said the measure contained too many ambiguities. In particular, he said the bill has conflicting provisions on the “disclosure and destruction” of personal information collected by the drones.

Inslee said his office will create a task force to study the issue and come up with a new drone bill for the 2015 legislative session. He said he is calling for legislation that provides a “clear and unambiguous” framework for government use of drones.

One of the drone bill’s sponsors, Rep. Jeff Morris, D-Mount Vernon, released a statement saying he was disappointed the governor vetoed a “well-worked, forward-looking” bill that was intended to “protect citizens from being spied on by their government without legal approval.”

“The measure passed both the House and the Senate with strong bipartisan support. It specifically permitted the use of drones for forest-fire surveillance, wildlife management, military training, and emergencies proclaimed by the governor, and it allowed development of the technology to continue,” Morris said. “It’s unfortunate that it’s so difficult to override a veto once regular session has ended. But I will continue working to ensure that we control technology – technology doesn’t control us.”

Governor signs dozens of bills into law

By | March 27, 2014 | 0 Comments

Gov. Jay Inslee signed nearly 50 bills into law during a bill signing ceremony on Thursday, including measures that address tanning beds, alcohol theft, state parks and drunk driving.

Gov. Inslee prepares to sign bills

Among the bills signed by the governor:

House Bill 2155: Gives the Liquor Control Board more authority to take action against liquor stores that have an “unacceptable”  rate of thefts, defined as two or more thefts over six months that result in a minor obtaining alcohol.

House Bill 2163: Makes it illegal for stores to sell a certain type of cough syrup to anyone under the age of 18. Young people are drinking cough syrups that contain dextromethorphan to get high, which Inslee described as a “growing problem.”

Senate Bill 6034: Allows certain types of advertising in state parks to help raise funds. It also allows parks to form partnerships with businesses, tribes, public agencies and other organizations. Parks cannot be renamed after a company.

Senate Bill 6065: Bans teenagers under the age of 18 from using tanning beds, unless UV radiation treatment has been prescribed by a doctor. Tanning salons will be charged $250 for each violation. Inslee acknowledged the parents of a woman who died from melanoma at the bill signing, saying the skin cancer can affect people of all ages. He said the new law will help young people “shield themselves from this increasing risk.”

Senate Bill 6413: Adds five new crimes to the list of offenses that can be counted as prior offenses when a person is charged with a DUI, including operating a boat, aircraft, snowmobile or commercial vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It also includes driving an off-road vehicle in a way that’s “likely to endanger” another person’s property. Inslee said the bill will help “reduce the scourge” of repeat drunk drivers. Lawmakers are continuing to work on legislation to provide full-time monitoring of repeat DUI offenders, he said.

Senate Bill 6424: Creates a state seal of biliteracy for the high school diplomas of students who are proficient in English and one or more other languages, including sign language and Native American languages. “This is a great idea,” Inslee said. “We love having citizens of the world coming out of our schools.”

TVW taped the bill signing and it will be archived at this link.

Inslee also spoke briefly with reporters following the bill signing ceremony about the Oso mudslide. “We do know this could end up being the largest mass loss of Washingtonians,” he said.

The governor said with a full-scale rescue effort underway, “we’re looking for miracles to occur.”

Watch the press conference at this link.

Legislative Year in Review

By | March 24, 2014 | 0 Comments

On this special one-hour edition of “Legislative Year in Review,” we recap the highlights from the 2014 session — from opening day to Sine Die. The show includes debate over issues such as the Dream Act, minimum wage, gun control, abortion insurance bill, death penalty, mental health, teacher evaluations, taxing e-cigarettes and the supplemental budget. Plus, a quick wrap-up of several of the bills that passed this year. Watch the show below:

2014 Roundup: What bills passed, what didn’t pass during session

By | March 14, 2014 | 0 Comments

The Washington State Legislature adjourned shortly before midnight on Thursday, the final day of the regular 2014 session. It’s the first time since 2009 that lawmakers finished their work without going into an overtime special session.

Here’s an overview of what lawmakers accomplished — and didn’t accomplish — during the session.

PASSED:

Supplemental budget: Both chambers agreed on a supplemental operating budget that spends about $155 million, including $58 for K-12 books and supplies. It also adds additional money to the mental health system, early learning and prisons. It does not include any new taxes or tax breaks, nor does it include teacher pay raises.

Dream Act/Real Hope Act: The Dream Act allows undocumented immigrants to apply for state need grants to help pay for college. The House passed its version of the Dream Act on opening day. The Senate renamed it the Real Hope Act and added $5 million to the state need grant. It was signed into law by Gov. Jay Inslee in February.

Homeless fees: As part of a last-minute deal, lawmakers agreed to extend until 2019 a $40 document recording fee that people pay during real estate transaction, such as buying or refinancing a house. The fee supports homeless shelters, affordable housing and other services and was scheduled to sunset unless the Legislature took action.

24 credit diploma: Starting with the class of 2019, high school students will have to earn 24 credits for a diploma. The current minimum is 20 credits, although some school districts require more than the minimum. The bill will also provide more opportunities for students to take career and technical classes that meet graduation requirements.

Tanning beds ban: Teenagers under the age of 18 would no longer be allowed to use tanning beds in Washington. Senate Bill 6065 bans minors from using tanning beds, unless they have a written prescription for UV radiation treatment from a doctor. Tanning salons would be fined $250 for violations.

Domestic violence: Washington residents under domestic violence restraining orders will soon be barred from owning guns. The bill says that someone who is under a protection, no-contact, or restraining order related to domestic violence must surrender his or her guns to law enforcement.

Drones: The Legislature approved a bill that puts limits government agencies that use drones, or remote-controlled monitoring devices, for surveillance. An agency may only use a drone after getting a warrant or under several exceptions, such as a fire or other emergency.

Religious holidays: State employees will be allowed to take two unpaid days off a year for religious reasons, and public school children will be excused for two days under a bill approved by the Legislature.

Military in-state tuition: Veterans and active duty military members will soon qualify for in-state tuition at Washington colleges and universities without having to first establish residency. Senate Bill 5318 waives the one-year waiting period for veterans, military members and their families.

Short-barreled rifles: Washington gun owners will soon be allowed to own a short-barreled rifle under a bill approved by the Legislature. It is currently a felony to own a gun with a rifle with a barrel shorter than 16 inches, or to have a modified gun that is shorter than 26 inches overall. (more…)

Legislature OKs short-barreled rifles

By | March 7, 2014 | 0 Comments

Washington gun owners will soon be allowed to own a short-barreled rifle under a bill approved by the House on Friday. It previously passed the Senate, and now heads to the governor for his signature.

It is currently a felony to own a gun with a rifle with a barrel shorter than 16 inches, or to have a modified gun that is shorter than 26 inches overall. Washington is one of six states that outlaws the weapons.

Rep. Laurie Jinkins, D-Tacoma, urged passage of the bill Friday, saying short-barreled rifles are popular among gun collectors and law enforcement officers. She said the bill also provides safeguards by requiring a stricter background check than current state law.

Buyers of short-barreled rifles will have to follow federal rules set by the National Firearms Act, which includes a background check, approval from a local law enforcement officer and a $200 tax.

“It is a difficult, time consuming and somewhat expensive process to have access to one of these guns, but this will bring us in line with 44 other states in the nation,” Jinkins said.

On ‘Legislative Review:’ Liquor bill, Gov. Inslee update and religious holidays

By | March 7, 2014 | 0 Comments

On Thursday’s edition of “Legislative Review,” we have highlights from a Senate floor debate over a liquor bill that would allow bars and restaurants to buy liquor from grocery and retail stores without paying a 17 percent fee. Plus, Gov. Jay Inslee givs an update on session.

The third segment of the show includes debate over a bill in the House that would allow state workers to take two unpaid days off a year for religious reasons. It would also excuse children from public school.

Watch the show below:

Categories: Alcohol, Governors Office

Governor calls for compromises on teacher evaluation bill, transportation funding

By | March 6, 2014 | 0 Comments

Gov. Jay Inslee told reporters Thursday that with a week left to go before the end of the regular 2014 session, lawmakers in both parties must compromise on key funding issues affecting education and transportation.

Inslee said if lawmakers do not pass a transportation package that raises gas taxes, the state’s funding for maintenance for roads and bridges will be cut in half starting next year.

The Majority Coalition Caucus in the Senate introduced a transportation package that would raise gas taxes by at least 11.5 cents per gallon, while the House passed a 10.5 cent proposal off the floor last year. The governor said Republicans and Democrats are currently stalled over half a dozen issues.

No package would mean that the state would not have the same level of bridge upkeep, plowing snow from roads, fixing potholes and other road maintenance, according to Inslee.

“This is if not a cliff, a very very steep embankment that we’re going to go over on transportation if we are unable to reach a package this year,” he said.

Inslee also called for compromise on the teacher evaluation bill, which failed on the Senate floor last month.

The federal No Child Left Behind law requires states to include standardized test scores in teacher evaluations. If Washington state does not comply, the schools here would lose $40 million of federal money.

“So I’m encouraging people to set aside their preconceived notions, and find the practical, pragmatic solution,” he said.

Inslee asked lawmakers to adopt a compromise bill he worked on with Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn.

“These standardized tests have to be some part of the assessment model but it leaves the local communities to figure out how much, when, how and which ones. So we are preserving that local flexibility,” he said.

The governor also urged both sides to reach an agreement to increase money for education to comply with the McCleary lawsuit.

” I am concerned that there still is an attitude to think that this is a problem that will go away. It is not going to go away. This is a problem that legislature will have to face next year,” he said.

Inslee plans to meet with lawmakers on about the McCleary plan in the final week of session.

Categories: Governors Office

On ‘Legislative Review:’ Death penalty halted, military tuition and Shin’s farewell

By | February 12, 2014 | 0 Comments

On Tuesday’s edition of “Legislative Review,” we have details about Gov. Jay Inslee‘s decision to halt the death penalty while he’s governor.

The second segment has highlights from House floor action, including a bill that would remove the one-year waiting period for military members to qualify for in-state tuition at a Washington college. Plus, the state Senate honors former Sen. Paull Shin.

Watch the show below:

Categories: Governors Office

Gov. Jay Inslee imposes moratorium on the death penalty

By | February 11, 2014 | 0 Comments

Gov. Jay Inslee announced Tuesday he is imposing a moratorium on the death penalty in Washington state while he is governor, saying there are “too many doubts” about capital punishment.

“There are too many flaws in the system today,” he said. “When the ultimate decision is death, there is too much at stake to accept an imperfect system.”

Gov. Jay Inslee speaks to reporters Tuesday

Inslee said he came to the decision after months of studying the issue and touring the death chamber at Walla Walla State Penitentiary, where nine men are currently on death row. Inmates in the state are executed by lethal injection or hanging.

Inslee said he will issue a reprieve if a death warrant comes across his desk while he is governor. It would not commute the sentence or pardon the offender.

“Those on death row will remain in prison for the rest of their lives. No one is getting out of prison, period,” he said.

Inslee acknowledged that the reprieve could be reversed by future governors. He said he chose a “relatively restrained use of executive power” so that the state could continue the conversation about the death penalty.

Washington’s Constitution grants the governor the ability to issue reprieves or stays of execution. Attorney General Bob Ferguson confirmed Tuesday the “governor has the authority to hit the ‘pause’ button for executions in Washington.”

The governor said he spoke with the family members of the murder victims as recently as Monday. “In the course of one day, I heard different things from different families,” Inslee said. Some were disappointed, while others told the governor that the death penalty appeals process is a source of constant anxiety.

“It’s a hard decision given what it means to everyone in the state, and I’m comfortable that it is the right decision,” Inslee said.

Republican Rep. Jay Rodne sits on the House Judiciary Committee, and issued a statement Tuesday saying the governor’s decision comes at the “expense of victims of violent crimes and their families.”

“This must be a difficult day for these families as they are confronted with the reality that the governor cares more about a few convicted killers than justice for their loved ones. It’s unfortunate and prolongs the closure they deserve,” Rodne said.

Most recently, Cal Brown was executed in 2010. The next execution is expected to be Jonathan Lee Gentry, who is on death row for the murder of 12-year-old Cassie Holden. The Washington Supreme Court rejected Gentry’s petition for release last month.

Watch TVW video of Tuesday’s press conference here.

Inslee proclaims ‘Moment of Loudness’ for Seahawks

By | February 4, 2014 | 0 Comments

Gov. Inslee shows off his Seahawks pride and tosses a football in the rain at a rally in January.

Update: Feb. 5:

While Gov. Jay Inslee plans to be in Seattle for the Seahawks victory parade, legislators plan to lead a Moment of Loudness here in Olympia, on the Capitol steps at 12:12 p.m., according to the governor’s office.

Original Post:

Gov. Jay Inslee is urging Seahawks fans to make as much noise as possible for 30 seconds, after he issued a proclamation calling for a Moment of Loudness at12:12 p.m. Wednesday to celebrate the team’s Super Bowl win over Denver on Sunday.

The governor issued the following statement:

 “No other team’s fans come close to the 12th Man. Our team is bigger, faster and stronger and the 12th Man is without question louder than anyone else in the nation,” said Inslee. “Tomorrow we’ll celebrate our team and their win with a Beastquake that will rattle the ground from Duvall to Denver.”

The full text of the proclamation is on the governor’s website.

 

Categories: Governors Office

On ‘Legislative Review:’ Gabby Giffords testifies on gun control, Inslee proposes new ed funding

By | January 29, 2014 | 0 Comments

On Tuesday’s edition of “Legislative Review,” we have highlights from a debate over gun control in the House Judiciary Committee. Former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who survived a gunshot wound to the head, testified at the hearing along with her husband, Mark Kelly.

The show also includes details about Gov. Jay Inslee‘s proposal to eliminate seven tax breaks to put an additional $200 million into schools. Plus, a short discussion over short-barreled rifles.

Watch the show below:

 

On ‘Legislative Review:’ Medical marijuana bills, capital budget hearing & wage bills

By | January 22, 2014 | 0 Comments

On Tuesday’s 15-minute recap of legislative activities on “Legislative Review,” we have highlights from a hearing on two competing medical marijuana bills.

In addition, legislators heard public testimony about Gov. Jay Inslee‘s proposed supplemental capital budget, which pays for the construction of public buildings and other projects. We also have details from a hearing the House Labor committee on four wage bills, which supporters say will crack down on wage fraud.

Watch the show below:

Muslims lobby on drones, DREAM Act

By | January 20, 2014 | 0 Comments

Muslims from around Washington gathered for the annual Muslim Lobby Day in Olympia Monday to talk to legislators about limiting drones, funding for housing and passing the DREAM Act.

About 550 people registered for the annual event, Arsalan Bukhari, a staff member for the Council on American-Islamic Relations of Washington, known as CAIR Washington. The organization advocates for Muslims and Muslim American relations.

According to CAIR Washington, the three issues are at the top of its legislative priorities this year:

  • Setting limits on drone technology, which could be used for surveillance. SB 6172 and HB 1771 address limits on drones.
  • Putting $100 million into the Washington Housing Trust Fund for low-income housing in the state. 
  • Passing the Washington DREAM Act so students without immigration documentation can qualify for state financial aid. The DREAM Act has already passed in the House.
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Gov. Jay Inslee addressed the group as they organized at The Olympia Center Monday morning and said he hoped that the DREAM Act of Washington would pass this year.

“This is the best day to talk about the DREAM Act, to talk about the dreams of all our students,” he said.

Bakhari said more than 35 districts throughout the state were represented, including residents of Colville, Vancouver, Yakima and Union Gap, along with residents from Puget Sound cities. About 50 people came from the 48th District, which is the district of Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom (D-Medina), Bakhari said.

Sherrie Hind of Redmond, who planned to speak speak with her local legislator Sen. Andy Hill (R-Redmond), brought her high school aged son to lobby on those issues.

“It’s for his sake and for the sake of young people that we should get involved,” she said.

Izza Asshofi came all the way from Bellingham, concerned in particular about setting limits on drones and passage of the DREAM Act, saying that students need help to finish school.

“The tuition is increasing and increasing and increasing,” Asshofi said.

While he’s never spoken to a legislator before, he said he is going in with confidence.

“Of course, I hope they say yes,” he said.

On ‘Legislative Review:’ Inslee’s state of the state, Republican response & drug sentences

By | January 15, 2014 | 0 Comments

On Tuesday’s edition of “Legislative Review,” we have highlights from Gov. Jay Inslee‘s first state of the state address. He called for a higher minimum wage, more education funding and a cost-of-living adjustment for teachers, along with the passage of a transportation package and climate change legislation.

We also have details from the Republican “perspective” delivered after Inslee’s address. Republican leaders also called a news conference in which they criticized Inslee’s speech for not having enough specifics. In the third segment of the show, lawmakers consider a bill that would reduce the penalty for possession of a controlled substance from a felony to a misdemeanor.

Inslee calls for higher minimum wage, more education funding in State of State address

By | January 14, 2014 | 0 Comments

Raising the minimum wage, cutting taxes for small businesses and ending tax breaks to fund education were among Gov. Jay Inslee’s priorities outlined Tuesday in his first State of the State Address since he took office.

Gov. Jay Inslee delivers the state of the state address on Jan. 14, 2014.

He said that his previous plan for a “hold steady” budget has been revised in light of the the Supreme Court’s recent order for the state to quicken its pace in funding basic education.

“We need to put several billion dollars more into funding our kindergarten-through-12th grade education system,” he said. “In the coming days I will propose a plan to make an investment of about $200 million in our schools this session.”

Inslee said the proposal also will restore the teacher’s cost-of-living adjustment, which was greeted by applause from the assembled legislators and the gallery.

Inslee called for a $1.50 to $2.50 an hour raise in the state minimum wage, saying that “thousands of working moms and dads
with full-time jobs” sometimes cannot afford to put food on the table. The state’s current minimum wage is the highest in the nation at $9.32 an hour.

He also made the case for a transportation package both to legislators and to voters, who may be asked to approved a new gas tax of more than 10 cents a gallon.

“There are legacy problems the team at DOT still wrestles with, and I understand some of you are frustrated by that. You know what? So am I. But we can’t let issues on megaprojects stop us from moving forward. The 520 bridge has to be finished. We don’t gain taxpayers’ trust by building a bridge that stops before it gets to I-5.”

He urged the Senate to find 25 votes to get a package through.

“I understand this is tough, the goal cannot be for everyone to get everything they want. Instead, we must get agreement on what our state needs,” he said.

(more…)