Sine die: Washington state legislative wrap-up

Monday, March 11, 2024

Lawmakers adjourn sine die at the close of the 2024 legislative session, March 7, 2024.
Photo by Laurel Demkovich/Washington State Standard

Quote of the week: "I would consider it a banner year for a short session."
That's Gov. Jay Inslee on Thursday night, March 7, 2024 after lawmakers completed the 2024 legislative session. Some of the wins he pointed to: budget increases for special education and school construction, funding for a psychiatric hospital in Tukwila that the state acquired last year, plans to move ahead purchasing five new hybrid electric ferry boats, and changes to the state's long-term care benefit program that will let workers keep access to it if they move out of Washington.

Throughout his three terms, Inslee has championed climate and environmental policy. He highlighted two bills legislators approved this year on that front. One would help set the stage for Washington to link its program auctioning emissions allowances to industrial polluters with similar markets in California and Quebec. The other, one of the more controversial bills of the session, is meant to help ease Puget Sound Energy's transition away from natural gas.

While the governor isn't running for reelection, he will have campaigning to do this year. Inslee and others will be trying to fend off a trio of ballot initiatives that target major policies he and fellow Democrats ushered into law, including the carbon market, the state's capital gains tax and the long-term care program. 

"I'm glad to have more work to do," Inslee said when asked about the initiatives. "I don't want to be put out to pasture months early."

-- Bill Lucia, editor, Washington State Standard


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