Local News

2014 Legislature opens session with limited expectations

legislatureOLYMPIA — The 2014 Legislature opened Monday for a 60-day session.

The consensus is that legislators enter the session with limited ambitions, the Olympian reported.  The biggest hurdle will be for state politicians to come together and pass a transportation tax package, the paper reported.  For the second year in a row, a Republican-dominated coalition has a narrow advantage in the Senate, and Democrats hold much larger control in the House.

The Olympian cites transportation, the state’s budget, Gov. Jay Inslee, the Senate majority coalition and medical marijuana as the major items to watch in this legislative session.

Transportation: Business, labor and environmental groups and local governments likely will make a renewed push for a transportation package after a year of unsuccessful negotiations has left the issue in limbo.

The state’s budget: For the first time in years, lawmakers aren’t confronted with a budget shortfall, but very little money is available for any major new initiatives

Governor Jay Inslee: Gov. Inslee won’t lay out his full agenda until his State of the State Address Tuesday. His supplemental budget proposal was modest. But he hopes to win passage of a transportation tax package and says his administration is exploring ideas to address climate change.

Senate majority coalition: Gridlock could continue, now that the coalition led by Medina Democrat Rodney Tom has been strengthened by the addition of a 24th Republican, new Sen. Jan Angel of Port Orchard.

Medical marijuana: After a citizens’ initiative authorized state-sanctioned marijuana sales, the U.S. Justice Department indicated it would look the other way if the system is as heavily policed as promised. Not so for the state’s long-standing medical-marijuana market, which remains largely unregulated, risking federal intervention.

The Olympia also cites gun rights, social issues, business climate improvements, climate change and state worker pension, as hot topics.

VIEW & ADD COMMENTS

2 Comments to “2014 Legislature opens session with limited expectations”

    The World is Ending said:
    January 13, 2014 at 3:18 AM

    If the legislative building in Olympia caught on fire all the politicians would burn, because they could not agree long enough to leave the building if one side said let's leave the other would say let's stay because democrats and republicans have to disagree on principal alone.

    My View said:
    January 14, 2014 at 9:57 AM

    If there are limited expectations then why open the session at all. We're over legislated as it is.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Advertisement

Advertisement