2021 Session Will Be Like None Before

[AUDIO] The Washington state Legislature kicked off its 2021 session in Olympia on Monday, and it’s a session like none before it. Dan Frizzell from House Democratic Caucus has more.

JINKINS: “In these hard times, hope is on the horizon.”

That’s how Speaker of the House Laurie Jinkins welcomed back to Olympia her 97 fellow members of the state House of Representatives Monday afternoon. That might be the last time those lawmakers will gather at the Capitol till they open the 2022 session next January. Jinkins, a Democrat from Tacoma, says the whole session this year will be conducted remotely – committee hearings, work sessions, and the debates where all 98 representatives vote on new state laws. It’s an unusual set-up, Jinkins says, dictated by the still raging COVID-19 pandemic, but it can’t stop lawmakers from doing what they were elected to do.

JINKINS: “Let’s start working right now and all session long to deliver hope and turn these hardest of times into a recovery that is equitable, inclusive, and sustainable. Let’s get to work right now.”

Jinkins challenged lawmakers to prioritize economic development, public health, racial equity and the environment during the 105-day session, and to strengthen Washington’s social safety net. The session is set to adjourn, remotely, on April 25. In Olympia, Dan Frizzell.