OPINION: Grading the 2019 Washington State Legislative Session
Re-posted from The South Seattle Emerald
The 2019 Washington State Legislative Session has been deemed highly successful in liberal circles. Lawmakers made substantial progress on numerous fronts, prompting Jay Inslee to say in the Bellevue Reporter, “This truly has been an epic legislative session of unprecedented scope and dimension of achievements for the people in the state of Washington.” However, there were also notable shortcomings, particularly in the areas of tax reform and climate change.
The Washington State Legislature operates on a biennium basis. In odd numbered years (like 2019), it meets for 105 days and creates three budgets (operating, transportation and capital) in addition to passing individual policy bills (lawmakers introduced 2,641 bills this year). Washington is one of 14 states with a Democratic trifecta — control of the governorship, the House (a 57-41 majority) and the Senate (28-21). Thus, 2019 represented an opportunity for Democrats to demonstrate what they could achieve with control in Olympia.
Here is how I grade lawmakers this session.
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