Legislature adjourns 2018 session at 60 days
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The Washington State Legislature adjourned its scheduled 60-day session last night (Thursday) on time and with no special sessions in sight. John Sattgast reports from the state Capitol.
SPEAKER-SINE DIE: “The House is now adjourned sine die!” (Applause out)
SATTGAST: And with that, one of the most intense short sessions in recent memory was finished Thursday night in Olympia with lawmakers scrambling to go home. Of the two-thousand-67 bills introduced during the 2018 session, three-hundred-11 will go to the governor.
KRISTIANSEN: “There were many Democrats that had a lot of pent-up bills that they wanted to get out there.”
SATTGAST: That's Representative Dan Kristiansen, who until this week when he announced his retirement, served as House Republican leader. Kristiansen attributes the volume of bills to the shift in power when Democrats gained a Senate seat in November and took the majority for the first time in five years.
KRISTIANSEN: “With all these new bills that were dropped this last couple of months, it was the controversial ones predominately that were dropped and it really seemed to bog the process down.”
SHEA: “We have seen some of the most far-left policies that I can possibly imagine.”
SATTGAST: House Republican Caucus Chair Matt Shea of Spokane Valley notes proposals such as the carbon tax, capital gains income tax, an abortion insurance mandate, gun control, and paid surrogacy pregnancies were among those bills.
SHEA: “Bigger government, more taxes, less freedom all the way across the board.”
SATTGAST: And while some of the controversial legislation made it to the governor, Kristiansen thinks in the end, minority Republicans were able to make a difference for Washington's citizens.
KRISTIANSEN: “We had no major tax increases. You know, we were able to stop the carbon energy tax, the capital gains income tax. While we weren't 100 percent successful in dealing with the Hirst water problem, we solved about 97 percent of it.”
Early on, the Legislature passed a capital budget that provides jobs throughout the state. Additional funding went into K-12 education. And hundreds of thousands of dollars were directed at fighting the state's opioid drug problem.
Overall, lawmakers say not bad for 60 days. Plus, they finished on time with no special session – which some in Olympia say may be the biggest accomplishment of the 2018 legislative session.
John Sattgast, Olympia
###Washington State House Republican Communications
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