Yesterday, Jay Inslee once again proved his irrelevance as a leader by persisting to act like a “player on the field” rather than “referee-in-chief.” Inslee emailed supporters informing them that the “Washington Legislature hasn’t gotten the job done — they didn’t reach agreement on a budget with more funding for schools, they didn’t pass a transportation package, and they haven’t made adequate progress on climate.”
More accurately, state House Democrats did not do their jobs. They did not pass a budget that pays for what it spends and they did not pass a transportation package (state Senate Republicans, on the other hand, did both). House Democrats did not even pass Inslee’s cap-and-tax scheme, because not even enough Democrats were willing sign their name to it. Of course, Inslee would never admit any of this.
Inslee goes on to ask email recipients to support him in demanding lawmakers listen to his list of priorities for the special session—that’s how irrelevant our green governor appears to have become in Olympia. Here’s his list:
- Approve a budget that reinvests in things like education from early learning to college and mental health. Legislators should do it in a way that doesn’t force deep cuts in other necessary parts of the budget and by looking for revenue solutions that make our tax system a little fairer — like a capital gains tax on the wealthiest Washingtonians.
- Pass a transportation funding package with no strings attached — let’s approve a package that fixes our roads and bridges, addresses some of the biggest congestion chokepoints in our state, and gives commuters more options.
- Take action on reducing carbon pollution. Washington can lead in the transition to a clean energy future and ensure we’re preserving the clean air and water that our children need to be healthy and prosper.
In other words, for the budget—specifically education spending—Inslee is demanding support for House Democrats’ budget, which is really no different from his budget. And, it appears he has not given up on his “new taxes at all costs” approach to the budget.
For transportation, Inslee is… demanding support for what the House Democrats say they want, but have yet even passed. Inslee makes the “no strings attached” appeal in reference to Senate Republicans’ bi-partisan transportation package that includes a consumer protection provision that would prevent him from jamming through his fuel mandate by executive order. As Shift has reported, Inslee’s been planning to bypass the state Legislature and force his fuel mandate through by executive order for quite some time. A transportation package that includes the consumer protection provision would thwart his extreme green agenda – and as noted in an editorial in today’s Seattle Times [pick up link] Inslee should back off his extreme position.
As for his call to “take action on reducing carbon pollution,” Inslee is essentially asking lawmakers to reconsider his cap-and-tax scheme. Refusing to take “no” for an answer, Inslee has decided to inject his hyper-partisan agenda into already tense budget negotiations. He has proved, once again, that he cares more for his extreme green agenda than being a leader and getting the people’s business done
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