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Washington Gov. Jay Inslee Vetoes Bills, Calls Special Session

 

Washington Governor Jay Inslee has called a special session in an attempt to encourage the legislature to pass a budget.

The announcement was made immediately following the close of regular session on Thursday night in Olympia.  Earlier in the week, Governor Inslee had said he would veto the bills on his desk if a budget agreement wasn’t reached by the end of session, a tactic that some likened to a “temper tantrum” to achieve passage of his version of the budget.

When it came time to fulfill his promise to veto the bills, Governor Inslee did — well, kind of.  Ten of the 37 bills on his desk were signed into law on Thursday night.  The remaining 27 bills — all bills which had attained bi-partisan support, an accomplishment in itself — were effectively killed with the Governor’s veto.

The list of bills vetoed by the Governor included bills pertaining to services for students with special needs, personal property rights, and several bills pertaining to healthcare and pharmacies.

While some, like Governor Inslee, believe this budget negotiation period should only last a short time, others are less convinced.  Depending on how hard public unions dig their heels in, and how willing or unwilling the legislature is to compromise, it may take a much longer time to pass a budget.

It’s important to note that no legislators can begin raising funds for reelection campaigns until the special session ends. Lawmakers are expected to reconvene to resume budget talks as early as this weekend.

For more updates, follow @FPIW on Twitter and Facebook.

WA Senate Introduces Bill to Repeal New Open-Bathroom Rule

 

Members of the Washington State Senate have introduced a bill to repeal the Human Rights Commission’s new open-bathroom rule.  Senate Bill 6443 is similar to the House Bill 2589, which was introduced last week on the same topic.

Proponents of the bill are concerned about the implications that the Human Rights Commission’s new rule will have for women and children.  The rule mandates that schools, businesses, parks, and other public accommodations begin allowing people to use restrooms, locker rooms, and shower facilities based on their internal identification rather than their biological gender.

In addition to the new policy on access to facilities, the new rule also bars individuals from directing “unwelcome questions” to those using facilities and makes it illegal to use pronouns consistent with biological gender if the person requests something otherwise.  You can read more about the now-effective bathroom policy here.

Here is a list of Senators currently signed on to sponsor SB 6443:

  • Senator Doug Ericksen (42nd L.D.)
  • Senator Barbara Bailey (10th L.D.)
  • Senator Mike Padden (4th L.D.)
  • Senator Steven O’Ban (28th L.D.)
  • Senator Jan Angel (26th L.D.)
  • Senator Randi Becker (2nd L.D.)
  • Senator John Braun (20th L.D.)
  • Senator Mark Miloscia (30th L.D.)
  • Senator Judy Warnick (13th L.D.)
  • Senator Bruce Dammeier (25th L.D.)
  • Senator Jim Honeyford (15th L.D.)
  • Senator Mike Hewitt (16th L.D.)

If you’d like to get involved on this issue to protect women and children from predators, here are some ways you can join the effort:

  • Thousands of Washingtonians have made calls and written emails and letters to their legislators.  If you would like to, please click here to use our contact portal.
  • Washingtonians from every county in our state have signed onto a petition to urge the legislature to repeal the HRC rule on open-bathroom.  Click here to add your name.
  • If you use Twitter, Tweet your reason for opposing the HRC rule using the hashtag #HRCTargetingMe.
  • Subscribe to FPIW’s weekly podcast, FYI, for updates on issues like these.  Click here for more.