Inslee calls for bold action in State of State address

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Gov. Jay Inslee on Tuesday called for bold action in his State of the State address.

Because of COVID-19, the governor spoke remotely to lawmakers from a mostly empty room.

The pandemic will once more be the backdrop of the legislative session, which began Monday and lasts 60 days.

“This has been a long effort, but we are undaunted. Look at all we have done together. If you compare our success to other states, we’ve saved more than 17,000 Washington lives,” Inslee said.

The governor called for continued resiliency against the pandemic, including spending nearly $900 million for schools to meet the immediate needs of kids.

Inslee also called for increased spending to fight homelessness and climate change.

“We must act according to what this moment demands. We must be big. We must be bold,” Inslee said.

Washington has an infusion of federal COVID relief money and state revenues are up.

Republicans say money should go back to citizens in the form of property tax relief, and the elimination of the long-term care tax and capital gains tax.

“House and Senate Republicans are looking to restore public safety, make life more affordable and to rebuild your trust in state government,” said Sen. Chris Gildon, R-Puyallup.

Republicans want fixes to police reform laws passed last year that they say are hampering public safety.