MYNORTHWEST NEWS

7 takeaways from Gov. Inslee’s 2018 State of the State speech

Jan 9, 2018, 3:23 PM | Updated: 3:24 pm

Touting Washington’s strong economy, business scene, and beautiful environment, Governor Jay Inslee urged lawmakers Tuesday to use this time to “leave a legacy” that will live on for future residents — a legacy addressing sexual harassment, education, and more.

RELATED: Washington governor tours landslide area near Yakima

“Washington is home to the most beautiful collection of fertile wheat fields and towering forests and salty waters on Earth,” Inslee said. “It is true and inarguable that our creator practiced on the rest of the planet and then he created Washington state.”

Takeaways from Inslee’s 2018 State of the State speech

Governor Inslee asked lawmakers to pass a capital budget as the first order of business this session, and spoke to bills they could craft to address gun violence, mental health care, and affordable housing. He called for the end of the death penalty. And he stressed that climate change is an existential threat to Washington, promoting a tax on carbon.

The Trump administration

Despite the onslaught of divisiveness, disorder, and disrespect coming from the White House this year, the people of our state have stood proudly together. The world should know that we will keep standing up for civility, tolerance, and liberty. We will fight to protect Washingtonians’ health care, a women’s right to choose, the right for people to be safe from discrimination, and the right to clean air and water. We will not be intimidated in the State of Washington.

The internet and net neutrality

Inslee said that legislators should use the current session to ensure that Washington state has its own internet protections akin to net neutrality. The FCC recently removed net neutrality policy — a controversial decision. He said it was essential to a modern democracy and economy.

When Washington DC takes away that protection, we must protect net neutrality for our people, for our businesses, and for the virtues of free speech.

Voting and elections

The governor said that lawmakers should pass a voting rights act, automatic registration, and election day registration to make it easier to vote.

Access to democracy is a cornerstone to the enduring health of our nation and our state. So let’s leave a legacy of a stronger democracy by increasing voter participation and equitable representation.

Women’s rights

At a time when women’s healthcare rights are under attack throughout our nation, let’s leave a legacy that ensures full access to contraception and allows women to chart their own course. That includes access to long-acting reversible contraception and reproductive parity. And not all of our work is in passing bills. Right now, let’s all — elected leaders and employers alike — commit to inclusive workplaces where everyone is safe from sexual harassment and assault. This is one of the persistent wrongs that our society must make right.

Education

Inslee said legislators can take pride in passing a plan that funds education, complying with the McCleary decision. But he noted that Washington’s Supreme Court still says that the state is late on making those funds available. He also spoke to the state’s higher education and career planning.

The Supreme Court has made it clear that the plan needs to start one year earlier and fortunately we have the reserves to do that. It is crucial that we implement the McCleary plan now, because a child is only a 3rd grader once and they don’t get that year back.

We have got to stop telling our children that a four-year degree is the only path to success. That simply is not true. Let’s leave a legacy of opportunity for all our students by expanding career-connected learning.

Immigration

Let’s continue our bipartisan legacy of helping Dreamers fulfill their potential in the State of Washington. This is a time of great uncertainty and fear for our Dreamers and their families. Let’s pass legislation now to ensure the availability of college-bound scholarships for Dreamers, even if the federal government fails to renew their deferred action status.

Carbon Tax

Inslee promoted that lawmakers craft a carbon emissions tax, as British Columbia and California has. He noted Oregon is considering it, and many countries have passed their own. He stressed that it would help move Washington toward the energy economy of the future.

This Legislature recognized this threat a decade ago when it pledged to the people of Washington that we would make our air cleaner and we would reduce carbon pollution. But sadly I have to tell you, unless we act this year that promise by the Legislature will be broken. It is time to step up. Give our citizens what they demand and deserve and what is the law, which is a fight against climate change and the damaging effects of carbon pollution … we have just 59 days to do our part to save our children from a certain, endless cycle of crop-killing droughts one year and rivers spilling over their banks the next; to save salmon from dying in ever-warming waters and our forests being reduced to plumes of ash. We have allowed the unfettered release of carbon pollution into our air. That burden will be carried by our children, our economy our security and our quality of life.

… On this issue there is no geographic divide in our state. The Eastern Washington farmer whose irrigation supply is threatened by low snow pack faces the same crisis as the Western Washington shellfish grower whose baby oysters are threatened by ocean acidification caused by carbon pollution.

… now is the time to join in action and put a price on carbon pollution.

 

MyNorthwest News

Kate Stone

Mayor Bruce Harrell calls Seattle ‘persistent’ in State of the City address

In his second “State of the City” address, Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell outlined future goals for tackling crime, the drug crisis, affordable housing, and other issues. “The state of our city is persistent, and it is pioneering,” Harrell said in his remarks Tuesday. He confirmed the long-awaited “One Seattle Plan” is coming. That refers to […]

14 minutes ago

Image: Student Jaahnavi Kandula...

Steve Coogan

Prosecutors will not charge Seattle officer in death of Jaahnavi Kandula

King County prosecutors said Wednesday it will not be charging Seattle Police Department Officer Kevin Dave in the death of Jaahnavi Kandula.

26 minutes ago

Image: Police detectives in Tacoma are asking for the public's help to identify the suspect respons...

Steve Coogan and Bill Kaczaraba, MyNorthwest

Woman stabbed in Point Defiance crime: ‘I can’t believe I survived’

On Feb. 10, the victim was walking at Point Defiance Park when was attacked by an unknown man, the Tacoma Police Department reported.

35 minutes ago

ufo, uap...

Micki Gamez

Washington continues to be a UFO hot spot

Seattle has become a hot spot for UFO sightings, with 86.5 sightings per 100,000 residents annually between 2000 and 2023.

55 minutes ago

The logo for Boeing appears on a screen above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exc...

Associated Press

Boeing ousts head of 737 jetliner program weeks after panel blowout on flight

Boeing said the head of its 737 program is leaving the company in an executive shake-up weeks after a door panel blew out on a flight over Oregon.

1 hour ago

Image: A man went into Winnie's Coffee and Deli on Rainier Avenue South on Feb. 8 and stole $1,300 ...

Sam Campbell

Scammer steals $1,300 from Skyway shop using fraudulent refunds

A coffee shop owner is warning other area businesses after she said a man scammed her out of $1,300 through a fraudulent refund scheme.

2 hours ago

7 takeaways from Gov. Inslee’s 2018 State of the State speech