Posts tagged: Jay Inslee
OLYMPIA — Employers can't ask their current workers or job applicants for access to their social media accounts under a law signed Tuesday.
Sometimes called the “Facebook Bill”, Senate Bill 5211 makes it illegal for an employer to request a worker or a job applicant for the login information to a social media account or to make the employee access the account with the employer present. An employee or applicant can't be required to add someone to a contact list or change the settings to give a third party access to the account.
Sen. Steven Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens, said Washington is the eighth state to have such a bill. “Privacy shouldn't be a thing of the past that we are forced to sacrifice every time technology moves forward.”
After signing the bill, Gov. Jay Inslee said it was a solid step for protecting people's privacy today.
“We do have to realize that technology changes so fast that we may turn around tomorrow and find circumstances where people are not adequately protected by it, from new technologies we haven't even thought of yet,” he said.
OLYMPIA — Washington will set up a special fund to pay for losses of livestock to the state's growing wolf population under a bill signed Tuesday.
The new law sets aside up to $50,000 each year from the money raised by selling personalized license plate for losses from wolves. It also allows farmers and ranchers to be compensated for all animal losses, not just for animals being raised for commercial purposes under the previous law.
Senate Bill 5193, sponsored by Sen. John Smith of Colville, was a key to expansion of Department of Fish and Wildlife regulations that allow property owners to shoot a wolf that is attacking livestock or pets.
The Legislature debated several plans to control wolves in Eastern Washington because the rapid growth in the formerly endangered animals' population as a result of successful recovery efforts.
“This is something where Washington state can really lead the nation in figuring out how to deal with the recovery process,” Gov. Jay Inslee said.
OLYMPIA — Gov. Jay Inslee downplayed any conflict between the state's two research universities over operations at the new joint medical school facility in Spokane, saying he wouldn't even call it a disagreement.
“I'm confident that we can find a way that Huskies and Cougars can work together on this,” Inslee said during a press conference this afternoon.
As to whether the state would build a new, complete medical school in Spokane if the two universities can't come to an understanding, Inslee said that is “getting a thousand miles ahead of ourselves.”
As reported in this morning's Spokesman-Review, Washington State University President Elson Floyd said the University of Washington is not sending enough second-year medical students to the new program at the Riverpoint campus in Spokane that the two are jointly operating. The school will have only 17 students for the 20 slots approved by the Legislature for a pilot program, and Floyd criticized UW for not recruiting enough students to fill the slots.
If UW won't cooperate, WSU will “plow our own way” and explore setting up its own four-year med school, Floyd said.
UW President Michael Young said only 17 students were interested in the Spokane program. To the suggestion that WSU would set up its own med school, Young said, “Good luck.” Floyd doesn't understand how a med school is run.
Inslee said he talked to people about the med school when he was in Spokane over the weekend and “I'm confident in our ability to work through this.”
Gov. Jay Inslee and Sen. Mike Padden talk before the autopsy bill is signed.
OLYMPIA – Spokane County’s medical examiners should feel free to talk about the results of investigations into deaths that involve actions by law enforcement officers. Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill Monday allowing county medical examiners and coroners to discuss the results of autopsies and post mortems of people who die in encounters with police or while in jail.
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OLYMPIA – A legislative compromise over a controversial bridge over the Columbia River was sliced out of the state’s $8.8 billion transportation budget Monday by Gov. Jay Inslee, who insisted it would endanger federal money and could lead to the bridge not being built.
Just hours after he joined a rally on the Capitol steps by union members and business leaders who are calling for even more spending on roads, bridges, buses and ferries, Inslee cut a provision that would limited the amount of federal money funneled through the state to the Columbia River Crossing bridge at $81 million – and then only if the U.S. Coast Guard approved the project’s building permit. If the Coast Guard doesn’t approve the permit, the money would be spent to study on a new bridge design.
If the Coast Guard doesn’t issue the permit, there’s no need to spend that money on a new design, he said. The state will lose federal funding for the bridge and “there is no other viable option to building this bridge in the next 10 years,” he said.
The bridge was a major sticking point over the state’s two-year transportation budget during the regular session, with some Republicans from southwest Washington insisting it was a flawed design that should be scrapped. The $81 million limitation and study provision was an attempt to strike a compromise that allowed the entire two-year transportation budget to move through the two chambers. But Inslee insisted Monday that deep concern over the bridge was held by only a few senators.
“We don’t build appropriations to nowhere,” Inslee said. “This veto help sharpen legislators’ minds.”
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Ava Conner, 6, accompanied her mother Jennifer to the Capitol for today's rally for a transportation package.
OLYMPIA — Shouts of “Pass it Now” filled the Capitol steps this morning as supporters of a new package of taxes and road projects tried to goad the Legislature into action.
In front of the podium where a couple hundred sign-carrying protesters in hard hats and safety vests. Behind the podium were folks in suits and ties. It was a visual reminder that the package has the support of labor unions and the state's business community, backed up by speakers like Gov. Jay Inslee, who has made passing a transportation package one of his top priorities for the special session.
“We've got to finish what we have started,” Inslee told the crowd. “It is crunch time…There is a tooth fairy but there is no transportation fairy.”
Where it lacks support, however, is in parts of the GOP caucuses in both chambers of the Legislature, where opponents of the Columbia River Crossing bridge between Portland and Vancouver are against including money for that project. Some members also want any taxes the package will include to be sent to a statewide vote in November by including a referendum clause in the legislation.
OLYMPIA – As a Senate committee approved tougher laws against impaired drivers Tuesday, some senators wondered aloud if the Legislature isn’t at least partially responsible for putting more drunks on the road by expanding the places where alcohol is consumed.
Less than an hour after the Senate Law and Justice Committee gave unanimous approval to a proposal that would require more and quicker jail time for drivers convicted of alcohol or drug impairment, Gov. Jay Inslee signed four bills the Legislature recently passed that add new places from which a person might be driving after legally consuming alcohol. . .
OLYMPIA — A law that toughens the state's drunk driving laws, in part by increasing mandatory jail time, received unanimous approval this morning from the Senate Law and Justice Committee.
Despite concerns by some senators that it didn't go far enough, or provide money to cities and counties for the higher costs of extra prosecutions for driving under the influence, all committee members gave it at least tentative support.
Just who was responsible for some of the drunks on the road was part of the debate. The Legislature must accept some responsibility, Sen. Jeanne Darnielle, D-Tacoma, said because it continues to increase the number of places where a person can consume alcohol — at movie theaters, public markets and spas — and then drive home.
The voters should accept some of the blame, said Sen. Pam Roach, R-Auburn. They opened up sales of distilled spirits in supermarkets through a 2011 initiative, and legalized marijuana consumption by adults in 2012. Stores like Costco now have mountains of liquor on display in their aisles, she said.
Sen. Adam Kline, D-Seattle, tried unsuccessfully to attach amendments that would pay for increased prosecutions and incarcerations by extending the temporary tax on beer that was imposed in 2010 and is due to expire on June 30. Committee Chairman Mike Padden, R-Spokane Valley, said taxes to pay for the bill is something the Ways and Means Committee will address.
The bill makes a fourth conviction for driving under the influence a felony, down from five convictions under the current law. It sets up mandatory jail time or treatment programs for earlier offenses, would allow judges to order a drunk driver to abstain from alcohol and submit to mandatory daily testing.
Gov. Jay Inslee said Monday that tougher drunk driving laws were one of the three top priorities for the special session, along with passing an operating budget for 2013-15 and a package of new transportation projects that will require some new revenue.
Pass an operating budget. Pass a new package for transportation projects. Toughen penalties for those who drive drunk or high.
At a press conference on the opening day of the 30-day special session, Inslee acknowledged that three other things he listed as priorities two weeks ago might not get done.
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OLYMPIA — Neither the governor nor the leaders of the caucus controlling the Senate will negotiate the budget in the news media.
We know this, because the said so this afternoon in press conferences, which were called to talk about the special session that started today and is mostly about getting a budget agreement
At various times over the span of an hour, Gov. Jay Inslee, Sen. Mark Schoesler and Sen. Rodney Tom all stated emphatically that they would not negotiate in the media. They said they were making progress, or that they were encouraged or that they hoped to be done in the allotted 30 days although it's possible that wouldn't happen.
Inslee said budget negotiators had agreed to “some of the fundamental assumptions” that would underlie the $33 billion plus, two-year operating budget. They hadn't started exchanging offers yet, but he was encouraging them to do so, to reach a consensus.
So what might those fundamental assumptions be? It has to do with how much savings some reforms might produce or revenue a change might produce, he said. But to get beyond that would be beyond the agreement not to negotiate in the media, he added.
Would Inslee support a budget that would close some tax loopholes but not extend temporary business taxes on professional services or continue a temporary tax on beer, as he proposed?
“It is unwise to negotiate in the media,” he said. “The budget I have proposed is a great … but I am going to be agreeing to something different.”
Sen. Rodney Tom, the Democrat who leads the predominantly Republican Majority Coalition Caucus, said his caucus members aren't in a compromising mood, believing they already compromised to put together their no-new-taxes budget that picked up some Democratic votes when it passed the Senate. Republicans gave on accepting federal money from the expansion of Medicaid, which is supporting “Obamacare.”
Of course, that sort of ignores the fact that most of those Democrats voted for that budget as a way of moving the process along, and said they expected it to come back from the House with some tax preferences changed. Bu would any Senate Republicans support any budget that contained any tax changes?
“Right now, we've put together a budget that doesn't require revenue,” Tom said. “We're not going to negotiate the budget in the media.”
The prospects of getting a deal in 30 days after failing to reach agreement during the 105 days of the regular session? Schoesler, R-Ritzville, said he's a farmer, so he's an optimist. Senators are being told to be flexible, and either stay in Olympia or be available for teleconferences to discuss negotiaitons.
OLYMPIA – The Legislature returns to town Monday in search of a compromise on a two-year operating budget that keeps the state in the black, uses relatively few accounting gimmicks, may or may not raise taxes and doesn’t get them hauled into court on a case they can’t win.
If those lines give you a sense of déjà vu, it’s probably because the same thing could have been written about the start of every regular session and special session since 2010.
A Google search would likely show it has been written by someone each of the last four year. Probably at least once by me.
Every regular session starting in 2010 required at least one special session to finish work on the budget. (Some careful readers might note that was when I started covering the Legislature full time in
Some years they go directly from the regular session into the special session, or take just a few days off for Easter or some other holiday that coincides with end of their allotted time. This year, Gov. Jay Inslee called a two-week break before going into overtime, sending most of them back to their districts to spend time with their families, and in a few cases, raise money for this year’s campaigns. While most don’t have to worry about re-election this year, a few have dreams of another office, like Senate Democratic Leader Ed Murray who’d like to be mayor of
Not everyone was sent home for the duration, however. Leaders of the budget committees and their staffs were searching for a compromise that could be presented to the caucuses or sent to a hearing soon after other legislators return. At the end of last week, Inslee was doing his best to remain optimistic without over-promising.
Negotiators were making progress on a budget compromise, Inslee said, but not enough he could say for with any certainty the Legislature will be working full-time from the get-go Monday. He expects negotiators from both parties and both chambers will “start making the hard compromises necessary” and legislators could have a few other issues, like getting tougher on repeat drunk drivers, to occupy their early days back.
Compromises are a given, considering operating budgets passed by the Senate and House are more than $1 billion apart in terms of total spending, and the House budget calls for ending or shrinking some tax exemptions the Senate does not.
Inslee included himself among the folks who will have to compromise, although he didn’t suggest what his compromises might be, which would be akin to a poker play turning up his hole cards before going all-in during a game of Texas Hold ’em.
When the Legislature adjourned on April 28, Inslee described the sides as “light years apart.” Other than to say they were making progress Friday, Inslee said he couldn't elaborate: “We've agreed not to talk about negotiations.”
Perhaps, as colleague Jerry Cornfield of the Everett Herald suggested later, they’re approaching a point where they’re at least in the same solar system.
But don’t expect the rocket to land any time soon.
OLYMPIA —Negotiators are making progress on a budget compromise that would cover the state's operating costs for the next two years, Gov. Jay Inslee said this morning.
But not enough that Inslee could say for certainty whether the Legislature will be working full-time starting Monday, when the special session starts.
“I think progress was made this week,” Inslee told reporters after ceremonial bill signings in his office conference room. He expects negotiators from both parties and both chambers will “start making the hard compromises necessary.”
The Legislature failed to pass a two-year operating budget during its 105-day regular session which ended April 28. Inslee called a special session to begin May 13, but budget staff and key leaders have spent parts of the last two weeks trying to find areas for compromise. Operating budgets passed by the Senate and House are more than $1 billion apart in terms of total spending, and the House budget calls for changes in tax exemptions the Senate does not.
When the Legislature adjourned on April 28, Inslee described the sides as “light years apart.” Budget negotiators met on Tuesday and today, he said. Other than to say they were making progress, Inslee said he couldn't elaborate. “We've agreed not to talk about negotiations.”
After convening at 9 a.m. Monday, legislators could hold hearings on some other issues that they or Inslee would like brought up in the special session. Among those are tougher rules for repeat drunk-driving offenses which had strong support when introduced but hit a few roadblocks over questions of funding in the final weeks of the session. Inslee said he thought negotiators were “99.5 percent of the way” to a compromise that would save counties and cities money on drunk-driving cases but may cost the state more money. If that's the case, budget negotiators will have to be sure the operating budget will have money to cover those changes, he said.
The felony firearms registry, which would be maintained by the Washington State Patrol, was the most significant gun legislation to pass in the recently concluded session. Inslee challenged legislators to go further in the upcoming special session, which starts Monday, and vote on background checks for all gun purchases.
“We’ll not leave until gun violence is addressed in our state,” Inslee told reporters after signing a total of 25 bills on a wide variety of topics.
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OLYMPIA — The Legislature might still finish on time Sunday, even though the House and Senate have two very different budget proposals and disagreements on some key policy issues, Republican leaders of the Legislature and the Democrat who heads up the Senate's majority coalition said today.
“Logjams can be broken,” Senate Republican Leader Mark Schoesler of Ritzville said. “We've seen it before. We could see it again.”
“This place is amazing in the miracles that can transpire,” Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom, D-Medina, said.
Speaking less than two hours after Gov. Jay Inslee said a special session will likely be needed to reach agreement on several budgets and other policy measures, Tom, who leads the mostly Republican Majority Coalition, and GOP members of the House and Senate, said they believed it might not be necessary.
The dynamite needed to break the logjam, however, would seem to be House Democrats agreeing to a budget with no new taxes, similar to the one the Senate passed two weeks ago. The House is scheduled to vote this afternoon on a tax package that would generate an extra $900 million over the next two years by eliminating or reducing certain tax exemptions, credits and preferences.
Until that tax package passes, negotiations are difficult because the two sides don't have firm budgets in place for starting points, Sen. Andy Hill, chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, said.
Tom and legislative Republican leaders made clear that if a special session is needed, they will put the lion's share of the blame on Inslee for not doing enough to help negotiate a settlement.
“He's not as active as his predecessor,” Schoesler said, a reference to Gov. Chris Gregoire, who often would mediate discussions and keep legislators in a room until they'd reach a compromise.
Inslee said earlier in the morning he and his staff have had regular meetings with legislative leadership and individual legislators to try to reach compromises, but he can't impose a solution on the different sides.
“I was elected governor, not dictator,” he said. “I think people are acting in good faith.”
Councilman Mike Fagan was within his rights to call Gov. Jay Inslee “a lying whore,” the Spokane Ethics Committee ruled on Wednesday.
The committee voted unanimously that the slur, which was part of a letter signed by Fagan and two others, didn’t violate city ethics rules because of the inability to establish that it harmed the city. They also said that Fagan’s free speech rights likely trump the ethics code.
“We can’t really tell a public official what they can and cannot say,” said Committee member Monica Holland. “Political speech is one of the most protected types of speech that we have in this country. So while the conduct may be perceived to be unprofessional and unbecoming to a publicly elected official and perhaps reflect badly on our city, I don’t know that we can really enforce anything, because it’s free speech at the end of the day.”
Gov. Jay Inslee explains his budget as students from Seattle's Cleveland High School look on.
OLYMPIA — The state should make temporary tax increases on beer and some business services permanent, cancel a variety of other tax breaks and spend an extra $1.2 billion on public schools, Gov. Jay Inslee said Thursday.
Standing in front of a group of Seattle high school students involved in a program to boost science and math skills, the governor released his first budget proposal. It’s a plan for expanded programs from pre-kindergarten to high school, designed to satisfy a state Supreme Court order to adequately fund public schools.
“We must do hard things. It’s the right thing to choose education over these tax breaks,” he said at a press conference to announce his spending plan for the 2013-15 budget cycle.
The proposal met quick resistance from Senate Republicans, who will likely release the first full budget in the Legislature next week. It will not propose tax increases or ending the tax exemptions Inslee proposed, Sen. Mark Schoesler of Ritzville, the Senate Republican leader, said. . .
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House Speaker Frank Chopp buys cookies and a brownie from Kate Hunter and Maureen Bo, who were manning the table of a “bake sale” for seniors and the disabled in the Capitol.
OLYMPIA — The Legislature has a pretty full day of hearings on this Maundi Thursday, but most attention will be on Gov. Jay Inslee as he releases his budget recommendations for the 2013-15 biennium at 11 a.m. today.
Before Inslee announces his spending plan, a group of seniors in the basement of the Capitol is holding a “bake sale”, with plans to turn the money raised from cookies and brownies over to House Speaker Frank Chopp and Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom as a way of signaling the state isn't spending enough on seniors and the disabled. Other groups are gathering for the budget unveiling in the governor's conference room.
Spin Control will have details from the press conference. In the meantime, the complete list of committee hearings can be found inside the blog.
OLYMPIA — Gov. Jay Inslee continued filling cabinet slots today with three appointments.
Bud Hover, an Okanogan rancher and former county commissioner, was named director of the Department of Agriculture.
John Wiesman, Clark County Public Health director, was named director of the Department of Health.
Bette Hyde was asked to stay on as director of the Department of Early Learning.
For the full rundown from the governor's office press release, go inside the blog.
OLYMPIA – Legislative Republicans say they will not vote for a gas tax increase or other new vehicle taxes until the state makes major reforms in the way it builds big road projects.
Gov. Jay Inslee, who has urged the Legislature to find new money for road and bridge projects, agreed the state Transportation Department needs reforms to restore public confidence. But he doesn’t think the state should delay a decision on taxes for new projects and needed maintenance.
“We cannot allow these problems to derail us,” Inslee said.
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Jay Inslee prepares to sign SB 5147 with prime sponsors Sen. Jim Hargrove, left, and Rep. Tina Orwall, right.
OLYMPIA — Gov. Jay Inslee signed his first bill today, a new law that requires youth shelters to notify parents of the state welfare offices after three days.
He got a few tips on bill-signing protocol from Sen. Jim Hargrove, D-Hoquiam, the sponsor of Senate Bill 5147, who said Inslee was the fifth governor to sign one of more than 300 bills that he's sponsored the became law. Hargrove got the pen by which the governor signed “Jay” and House sponsor Rep. Tina Orwall got the pen he used for “Inslee.”
The bill requires youth shelters and organizations designed to protect children to contact parents or the Department of Social and Health Services after 72 hours when they have a child that is known to be away from home without permission. They must report the child's whereabouts, physical and emotional condition and how the child came into contact with the shelter.
Starting in 1995, shelters were required to report a child's whereabouts within eight hours, but that was expanded to 72 hours in 2010 on a temporary basis, to give shelter staff more time to talk with the child and locate the parents.