The Washington Legislature convened at noon Monday, starting the clock on a 60-day session. Lawmakers say there’s much to do in a short amount of time. John Sattgast with the Washington House Republicans reports from the state Capitol.
SATTGAST: For the first time in five years, Democrats control both the House and Senate. But only by one vote in each chamber. Governor Jay Inslee, also a Democrat, is hoping to use that slim majority to his advantage to pass new gun control legislation, abolishment of the death penalty and a new carbon tax.
However, in his remarks during the Legislature’s opening day ceremonies, House Republican Leader Dan Kristiansen called on lawmakers to unite on issues the entire state needs – not extreme agendas that divide Washington.
KRISTIANSEN: “We need to make sure that we are not just focused in on one part of the state of Washington, but we are looking at all four corners of this state and the various challenges we deal with. Despite our differences, some of them are pretty big, where can we find our common ground? Well, I will tell you what it is. We are all citizens of this wonderful state.”
SATTGAST: Kristiansen said House Republicans are committed to the principle of “One Washington,” and will work across party lines to achieve common goals on the state’s most critical policy issues.
John Sattgast, Olympia