Special session update: Budget briefings, cap-and-trade proposal forthcoming

By | May 7, 2015 | 0 Comments

Budget writers met this week for two days of budget “briefings,” but have yet to resolve more than 1,000 differences between the budgets passed by the Democrat-controlled House and the Republican majority Senate, according to Democratic legislative leaders.

“Going through each section of the budget, going through where the differences are, where the decisions have to be made — that’s what is happening right now,” House Democratic Majority Leader Pat Sullivan told reporters on Thursday.

The Legislature began a 30-day special session on April 29 after adjourning regular session without a two-year operating budget in place.

House Speaker Frank Chopp said there remains “major differences” between the two budgets, highlighting a difference of $450 million more in the Democratic budget for K-12 basic education than the Republican approach.

Senate Republican Majority Leader Mark Schoesler said Democrats don’t have the money for the $450 million expenditure. “They can spend it, but they can’t pay for it,” he said at a Republican media availability.

Legislators on both sides of the aisle are pushing to get an early revenue forecast update to see if the state will collect more revenue.

Waiting for June 17, when the revenue forecast is scheduled to be released, is “just too late,” said Sen. Sharon Nelson, D-Maury Island. (more…)

Inslee appoints five new cabinet members

By | January 10, 2013 | 0 Comments

At today’s annual Associated Press Legislative Preview Gov.-elect Jay Inslee began his address by introducing five new administrative heads.

“We have been looking for a very specific kind of leader to help us maintain a results-driven operation,” Inslee said. “Leaders who have embraced and demonstrated the ability to use lean management systems.”

Inslee said his new appointments are “a cadre of agents for change,” and that all five have previously demonstrated commitment to results and constant quality improvement.

Former state Sen. Kevin Quigley from Snohomish County will be leading the Department of Social and Health Services. Quigley is the former president of the U.S. Fab division for Vigor Industrial, and a former president of Vigor’s shipyard in Everett.

Dale Peinecke is slated to be the new director of Employment Security.  Peinecke has spent more than a decade as a leader in the aerospace industry and is the past chair of the Snohomish County Workforce Development.


Gov. Gregoire issues executive order to address ocean acidity, protect shellfish

By | November 27, 2012 | 0 Comments

Gov. Chris Gregoire signed an executive order today to combat rising levels of acidity in the ocean, which scientists say is threatening the state’s supply of oysters, clams, scallops and mussels.

Washington’s $270 million shellfish industry employs 2,200 people and produces “quality seafood that’s the envy of the world,” Gregoire said at a news conference announcing the action.

“We are a major exporter of world-class shellfish. That’s because we not only offer the shellfish, but everyone knows it comes from clean water,” Gregoire said. “Washington has a lot at stake.”

Gregoire said she plans to reallocate $3.3 million from the hazardous substances tax to fund the effort. Gregoire’s office will release a 2013-15 budget proposal in December, and it will serve as a blueprint for Gov.-elect Jay Inslee.

Gregoire said she recently met with Inslee for several hours and discussed climate change. “I have no doubt he will take the next steps forward,” she said.

The governor appointed more than two dozen elected officials, scientists and policy experts to a Blue Ribbon Panel earlier this year to find ways to protect the state’s shellfish.

Bill Ruckelshaus, a member of the panel, said at today’s event that the ocean absorbs one-quarter of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. As a result, the acidity in the ocean has increased by 30 percent — making it difficult for marine species like shellfish to adapt to their changing environment.

“We always thought the ocean was our friend,” Ruckelshaus said. “We now find the ocean is paying a penalty for being our friend.”

The panel released a report with 42 recommended actions, including slowing the pace of ocean acidification by reducing carbon dioxide in the state and providing national leadership on the issue. You can read the full report here.

The executive order directs the state Department of Ecology and other state agencies implement the recommendations of the panel.

Watch the full event below:

McKenna, Inslee talk about climate change, transportation and Medicaid expansion

By | October 19, 2012 | 0 Comments

On this week’s edition of “Inside Olympia,” host Austin Jenkins interviewed the candidates for governor, Democrat Jay Inslee and Republican Rob McKenna. They talked about the controversy over The Seattle Times’s pro-McKenna ads, climate change, the environment, transportation and Medicaid expansion. Watch the full show below:

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Gubernatorial candidates meet for final debate

By | October 16, 2012 | 0 Comments

The candidates for governor will meet tonight for their final debate of the election season.

Democrat Jay Inslee and Republican Rob McKenna will debate in a one-hour televised event co-sponsored by KING 5 TV and The Seattle Times.

Watch the debate starting at 8 p.m. Tuesday, broadcast live on KING 5 or streamed on the web at seattletimes.com.

The race for governor remains competitive. Inslee leads McKenna 47 percent to 44 percent in the latest poll, putting the race within the margin of error, according to a new KING 5/SurveyUSA poll released today.

McKenna saw a gain of 3 points compared to the same poll two weeks ago, which showed the Republican candidate trailing by 6 points. Nine percent of voters remain undecided.

Both gubernatorial candidates will also be in the TVW studios this week for a taping of “Inside Olympia.” Host Austin Jenkins will interview each candidate for 30 minutes, and the episode will air Thursday at 7 & 10 p.m. on TVW.

Rep. Jay Inslee leaves Congress to focus on run for governor

By | March 12, 2012 | 0 Comments

Rep. Jay Inslee announced over the weekend that he’s resigning from his 1st Congressional District seat to focus on the race for governor. Inslee, a Democrat from Bainbridge Island, is facing Republican Attorney General Rob McKenna in the race to succeed Gov. Chris Gregoire.

Inslee said in a statement he made his decision after watching Republican presidential nominees bring a “divisive social issues agenda” to Washington state during campaign stops. “It was a difficult decision, but what I need to do right now is focus all my attention on talking to people about what’s really important – creating jobs and growing our economy,” Inslee said.

Inslee has represented the district since 1999. His resignation will take effect March 20th, and the seat will remain vacant until the results of the November election.

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Rep. Marko Liias has decided: He’ll run for Congress

By | August 2, 2011 | 0 Comments

liiasRep. Marko Liias, the 30-year-old member of the House, has announced that he’s running for Congressman Jay Inslee’s seat. Liias joins Rep. Roger Goodman and former Rep. Laura Ruderman, who we’ve blogged about previously.

Inslee, as you’ll recall, left his Congressional seat to for Governor against Attorney General Rob McKenna.

Jay Inslee: Democrats are party of reform, not apologies

By | June 26, 2010 | 0 Comments

Jay Inslee said he was getting his questions prepared for BP executive Tony Hayward at a recent hearing when he heard his Republican colleague apologize to Hayward.

“There is a refrain here: We are the party who don’t believe we should give an apology to Wall Street. We are the party who will pass a bill next week” to further regulate Wall Street. “We are the party who doesn’t think we should apologize to the insurance industry,” he said, but the party that will make sure you can get insurance “even if you have heart disease, even if you have cancer.”

“This is a contest between the optimists of Americans and the pessimists,” he said. “Optimism is an inherent American value,” he said. He said the country is addicted to oil, but “we are the optimists as Democrats and Americans who believe that we can dominate the field in clean energy,” he said.

He said for people who don’t think Americans can master clean energy, he said they should visit Boeing to see their biofuel-powered jet or “let them come to Moses Lake, where we’re making the guts of solar panels,” he said. “Let them come to Washington state, where we intend to lead the world in a clean energy environment.”

He said next month, more jobs will have been created during President Obama’s term than in the eight years George Bush was president. But, he said, Republicans want to repeal some of the work Democrats have done.

“If you see Rob McKenna, you tell him to keep his hands off of our healthcare,” he said, of the state Attorney General, who is part of a lawsuit over the federal health insurance reform.

Inslee said America only knows one direction: Forward. “Stand with me and we will go forward on healthcare, not backwards … stand with me and we will go forward on clean energy,” he said. And education, the economy and more.

Congressman Jay Inslee: Interstate Compact reform bill coming, as well as campaign finance reform

By | January 26, 2010 | 0 Comments

Austin Jenkins interviewed Congressman Jay Inslee for Thursday’s edition of Inside Olympia. Here’s what Inslee had to say:

– On the Interstate Compact: “I’ve been working with some other folks to see if there’s a way in Congress to make the Interstate Compact more efficient.” He said the effort “to repair the holes in that net” is bipartisan, and they’ll introduce a bill soon.

– On the Supreme Court ruling last week on corporations and campaign financing: “They have opened the floodgates to allow a corporation to come in and run ads, but the public never really knows where it comes from … the citizen will not see an ad that says, ‘We’re against Congressman Inslee because he’s against clean energy,'” he said — instead, he said the corporation or union will pick a nice-sounding name and run a smear ad. Inslee said another effort to reform campaign finance laws is in the works — and he hopes it will be bipartisan. “This is not the end of the universe as we know it.”

– On the Massachusetts election, and what it all means: The Democratic candidate was “terrible.”

– And there’s much, much more. Including whether Inslee is eying the Governor’s mansion.

Here’s the full video:

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