Inslee: Wash. still poised to change the world
"Any failure to address the issue of violence in our communities and our schools will be intolerable," Inslee said.
A specific piece of legislation Inslee called for in his speech was one that would require insurers who cover maternity care — which Washington insurers are mandated to provide — to also pay for abortions.
The measure passed out of the House during the last legislative session but failed in the Senate. Inslee said that he wanted to see the measure on his desk to sign this year.
Inslee also pressed the issue of climate change, saying it's clear that the state faces grave and immediate danger if we fail to act. He noted that the state has had flooding, drought and devastating wildfires and warned that changes in snowpack could threaten eastern Washington's agriculture.
"Our current lack of action on clean energy is an offense against our own children, as we put their health in danger and their prosperity at risk," Inslee said.
House Minority Leader Richard DeBolt, R-Chehalis, said after the speech that he worried that Inslee will seek to micromanage the energy sector with tax credits geared toward clean energy.
"We still aren't going to allow the market to work," he said. "We're going to say government decides if you get to be successful or not."
Senate Republican Leader Mark Schoesler of Ritzville said that his party would work to help Inslee make good on his campaign pledge to not raise taxes.
"His first order of business today was jobs," he said. "It's first in the Senate Republican agenda."
House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan, D-Covington, said that he didn't see how to solve the state's fiscal and education needs with an all-cuts budget but said he'll be interested to see the budget proposals put forth by both Inlsee and the Senate.
"We're going to work to get the job done," he said. "We have no choice."
Follow Rachel La Corte at http://www.twitter.com/RachelAPOly or http://www.facebook.com/news.rachel and Mike Baker at http://twitter.com/MikeBakerAP . AP writer Jonathan Kaminsky contributed.
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