Senate and House Republican leaders outlined a number of concerns with parts of new Gov. Jay Inslee’s inaugural address during a press conference Wednesday afternoon.
House Republican Leader Richard Debolt (R-Chehalis) said he was disappointed that Inslee was picking winners and losers by supporting tax breaks for programs delivering clean energy.
“State government shouldn’t decide who is successful and who is not. We have to do what we can to help all businesses,” Debolt said.
Debolt said he was also surprised the governor mentioned his support for the Reproductive Parity Act, which would require insurance companies to cover abortions if they also cover live births.
“It was funny that he would take a day of unification and try to make it a politically dividing event,” DeBolt said. “Social issues are not as important as it is getting people back to work again. That should be the focus of our governor.”
Senate Republican Leader Mark Schoesler (R-Ritzville) said the governor’s speech lacked detail, especially concerning gun control.
“The governor hasn’t given us any specifics on gun safety. We all agree it’s important, but there were no details prior and none today in the speech,” Schoesler said.
All the Republican leaders praised Inslee for the making jobs his top priority and said they plan to help Inslee keep his campaign pledge to not raise taxes.
“We have to have those jobs to get people off public assistance,” Rep. Dan Kristiansen (R-Snohomish) said.
Rep. Kevin Parker (R-Spokane) gave a videotaped official Republican perspective prior to the news conference.
Parker focused on funding education and balancing the budget without introducing new taxes.