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Politics Northwest

The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

February 19, 2015 at 5:48 PM

Inslee addresses poison pills, oil trains, e-cigarettes and Bertha’s progress

Gov. Jay Inslee signed the supplement budget Thursday, before taking questions from media. Here are some things he said:

1. Bertha crawls again. “We’re looking forward to continued movement,” Inslee said. “People have to understand, there’s going to have to be a lot of work on this machine to keep it operable … there’s a long ways to go.”

2. Transportation package. Inslee said he hopes lawmakers will disregard the “poison pill” in the Senate’s transportation package that would keep him from isssuing low-carbon fuel standards. “I am urging legislators to focus on what we really need, which is bridges that are safe, buses that work and lanes that are available,” said Inslee. “And if they focus on those things rather than strings attached to it, I think it would increase the odds of getting a transportation package.”

3. Revenue forecast. The governor had nothing to say about Friday revenue forecast, which was added in the above-mentioned supplemental-budget bill so lawmakers have more information with which to write their budgets. “I don’t really have any new information … we’ll have more tomorrow.”

4. E-cigarettes. It’s the last week for most new bills to get voted out of committee, but the governor’s e-cigarette tax and regulation proposals haven’t gotten hearings in either the House or Senate. But Inslee says he isn’t concerned. “This is a budgetary item,” he said. “So all of these items will be fully in play right through the last day when we get a budget.”

5. Oil trains. Another oil train ignited this week, setting fires that evacuated a West Virginia town, and reminding Washingtonians yet again that it could happen here. Inslee said he can’t talk specifically about proposed oil terminals in the state, because the governor is part of the permitting-approval process. But, “I think there’s good reason to believe we could get a bill this year. … It’s really important that we move an oil-safety bill, even if we don’t have any additional ports.”

Comments | More in Governor, Politics Northwest | Topics: 2015 legislative session, bertha, e-cigarettes

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