As of this morning, there are 109 bills that sit on Jay Inslee’s desk. If Inslee does not sign them into law within his given timeframe, they will become law anyway (despite his threat to sit on them if lawmakers do not agree on a supplemental budget by Thursday). In Washington State, the governor does not have pocket veto power.
However, it’s unclear whether or not Inslee will actually deliberately veto them all in retaliation to lawmakers (once again) ignoring him. Should he actually follow through with his threat and veto the bills, Inslee would face public backlash.
Here are just a handful bills that Inslee would have to justify killing:
- HB 2398: Clarifying current requirements for public purchases of goods and services from nonprofit agencies for the blind.
- HB 2403: Concerning Down syndrome resources.
- SB 5342: Concerning definitions related to human trafficking.
- HB 1213: Concerning the definition of veteran for the purposes of the county veterans assistance fund.
- HB 2925: Concerning accessing land during a fire suppression response for the purpose of protecting livestock from a wildland fire.
Reportedly, state House Democrats have threatened to adjourn session without a supplemental budget if they do not get their way, i.e. raising taxes and spending by half a billion. That would not mean a shutdown since lawmakers have already enacted a budget for 2016-2017 (though that small fact hasn’t stopped Inslee from warning of an impending government shutdown).
However, failing to pass a supplementary budget would create a crisis for next year when Democrats are sure to (once again) demand new taxes.
So, if his fellow Democrats in the state House chose not to help Inslee out by dropping their demands, Inslee will have a tough choice ahead of him.
We have a feeling Inslee did not bother to check whether or not he had pocket veto power prior to making his little threat. Now that it’s all said and done, it’ll be interesting to see whether or not our green governor actually follows through and vetoes all the remaining bills, including one meant to improve services to our nation’s veterans.
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