The 105-day session of the 71st Washington Legislature began Monday with the swearing-in of state lawmakers and the traditional ceremonies. Leaders from both parties say they face many challenging issues, as the 2019 session gets underway. John Sattgast reports from the state Capitol.
SATTGAST: Mental health, homelessness, affordable housing, drug addiction, domestic violence, school safety, clean air and wildfire prevention are among the issues Democrats and Republicans acknowledged must be addressed this session.
Representative J.T. Wilcox of Yelm is the House Republican leader.
WILCOX: “It seems to me that many of the problems that we have in our state, and maybe across the country, are converging. It doesn’t matter whether you represent a really big world-class city, or a tiny-little town, like many of us do. We have very much the same kinds of heart-rending human problems.”
SATTGAST: Although Democrats now hold larger majorities in the House and Senate, Wilcox called on colleagues to set aside partisanship and be willing to work together as “One Washington” to consider solutions from both sides of the aisle.
WILCOX: (:11) “Although we have, in many cases, exactly the same kinds of problems, it’s quite possible that different solutions are most appropriate in different places.”
SATTGAST: Wilcox said House Republicans would insist on accountability of government, which is controlled under a single-party system. But he says they are ready to work across party lines to achieve common goals on the state’s most critical policy issues. John Sattgast, Olympia