With the first week of the legislative session in the bag, Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee held a news conference Friday morning to give his thoughts on guns, taxes, football and other issues. The highlights:
1. The governor said he supports legislation to provide a one-year “cooling off” period before elected officials and top-level government workers can go become lobbyists.
2. On new gun laws, Inslee said wants to see a proposal that would hold adults responsible if a child gets access to a gun stored in a home. Rep. Ruth Kagi, D-Seattle, told The Seattle Times in November she’d be reintroducing such a bill this year.
3. Speaking of guns, Inslee said legislators have raised concerns with him about citizens bringing guns into public spaces of the House and Senate chambers. An instance of that happened Thursday when some gun rights supporters brought their firearms into the Capitol after a gun-rights rally outside. One demonstrator was even threatened with arrest.
4. The governor also said he believes local school-levy reform isn’t necessary to fulfill the state Supreme Court’s education funding mandate known as the McCleary decision. Inslee argued that the $2.3 billion in state money for education in his proposed budget is enough to reduce local funding burdens. “That is reform on a levy basis,” he said. But will lawmakers agree?
5. On the state Senate’s rule change to require a two-thirds majority to raise new taxes in that chamber, which would stymie Inslee’s proposed taxes on capital gains and carbon pollution: “I don’t agree with them taking that approach, but it doesn’t change our approach to this. We know we’ve always had to get 25 votes for any proposal in the Senate, and the moment you have 25 votes for that proposal, you can change this rule.”
6. Elon Musk, who is bringing some of his space operation to Seattle, and Inslee are scheduled to meet for the first time. “I am very excited about it,” Inslee said. “His confidence in Washington to place the intellectual center of the next horizon of space travel, pretty exciting.”
7. Inslee wouldn’t rule out supporting a transportation package funded by a gas tax rather that his proposed carbon-polluter tax. “I will listen to people’s ideas,” he said. “Look, I proposed this for two years … the gas tax to fund transportation. If my ideas have finally provoked [lawmakers] to think about this seriously, great.”
8. What’s on the line between Inslee and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker for Sunday’s Seahawks game against the Green Bay Packers? “When the Seattle Seahawks are victorious this Sunday, I will be enjoying some of Wisconsin’s finest beer and cheese and sausage,” Inslee said. “And in the event that some bizarre action takes place,” Inslee said he’d be sending to Walker Washington beer, apples and oysters.