Rep. Walsh says limiting emergency powers is among key issues for legislative session

Jan 11, 2022, 9:51 AM | Updated: 10:33 pm
Republicans, redistricting...
Aerial view from a drone of the Washington State Capitol in Olympia, Washington. (Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)

The 2022 legislative session kicked off Monday in Washington state, and at least one Republican representative seems optimistic that there could be a few bipartisan compromises, including on limiting the governor’s emergency powers and reforming last year’s policing bills.

Legislative session kicks off with packed agenda, virtual testimony, and multiple lawmakers with COVID

To provide an update on the key issues for this 60-day session, state Rep. Jim Walsh (R-Aberdeen) from the 19th District joined KIRO Radio’s John Curley & Shari Elliker Show.

The legislature has $898 million to spend.

“There is about $900 million, and this is state-generated tax revenue — so it’s from people’s property taxes, mostly from people’s sales taxes,” Walsh said.

“… And there are about 905 million ways we want to spend it,” he laughed.

There are 57 Democrats and 41 Republicans in the state House.

“So it’s not fair,” John said. “… The Republicans in the state of Washington, especially since 2017, seem to be the guy screaming at the train on the platform.”

“Oh yeah,” Walsh agreed. “If there are any Kraken fans out there, we’re constantly shorthanded going against the power play. They’ve got more people on the ice than we do. We’ve got a pretty good goalie and some good defenders, but it’s tough.”

Going into this session, Walsh says Republicans actually do have the majority “kind of where we want” on a couple issues.

“Key issues are, number one, getting some kind of legislative control on the governor’s emergency powers,” Walsh said. “… There’s probably going to be some sort of bipartisan compromise on that front, which is good.”

As far as the group of bills related to policing that have since been controversial among police officers, Walsh says “it’s a disaster.”

“Same deal, it’ll probably end up being a bipartisan compromise, where there will be some reform to those so-called reforms,” he said. “And we’ll bring the pendulum back to the middle where police officers and sheriff’s deputies can use their good judgment and their professional training and make decisions in the moment about pursuing suspects and criminals, and using reasonable force to deescalate worse violence. We need to give that decision-making back to the frontline cops.”

Listen to the full interview with Rep. Walsh at the start of the second hour of the John Curley & Shari Elliker Show below:

Listen to the John Curley and Shari Show weekday afternoons from 3 – 7 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Rep. Walsh says limiting emergency powers is among key issues for legislative session