Governor Jay Inslee challenged the Legislature Tuesday to write “a new and enduring chapter” in Washington State history by adopting the cornerstones of his policy objectives.
Inslee highlighted four objectives that are most important to him in his State of the State speech:
- Addressing climate change predictions by adopting new clean fuel standards for autos and incentives for electric car use, among other ideas.
- Changing the state’s emphasis on mental health treatment from reactive to preventive
- Spending money to protect endangered orca whales
- Enrolling more students in early education programs
Inslee’s agenda will cost the state more money. He has proposed $3.7 billion in new and additional taxes after a period during which state tax revenues climbed from $31.3 billion in 2011-13 to more than $50 billion today. His opponents want the Legislature to better manage its growing revenues rather than entertaining new taxes that threaten businesses and the state economy.
In his broad-ranging address, Inslee didn’t touch on issues of importance to Washington Retail membership. They include possible statewide regulations regarding the scheduling of retail employees; possible tougher requirements on retailers to report computer security breaches; and adding penalties to laws to curb the growing problem of organized theft rings that prey on stores.
The 2019 legislative session that began on Monday is scheduled to continue for 105 days. Washington Retail will track and engage where appropriate on all bills that could affect retailers and report on the status of key measures in each weekly newsletter until adjournment. Go here to read the entire text of Gov. Inslee’s speech.