OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — 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.