As Washington State lawmakers moved into a third special session Sunday, Gov. Jay Inslee in a statement signalled he would back off his administration’s proposed low carbon fuel standard in return for Republican votes needed in the Senate to pass a 16-year, $15 billion surface transportation investment package. A gas tax hike of 11.7 cents per gallon has been part of the Senate GOP majority draft law.
Lawmakers began their third overtime session at noon Sunday as they tried to wrap up work on a state operating budget. A new two-year budget must be passed and signed by the governor before the end of the day Tuesday to avoid a partial government shutdown Wednesday. Sen. Fain said that in the deal reached on the transportation package, the fuel standard restriction would apply through 2023.
By Friday, it had become clear there would be no vote on the renewal of the Ex-Im charter before Congress goes into its Fourth of July recess, which starts Monday. In a press conference Thursday, a clearly frustrated U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell a prime supporter of the bank and Boeing, vowed to get the bank reinstated.
On Saturday afternoon, Gov. Jay Inslee and Republican and Democratic legislative leaders met with the press in a united front to say that a deal has been made for a roughly $38 billion biennial budget. That will likely be signed into law on Tuesday, heading off Wednesday’s looming partial shutdown of state government.
In a landmark opinion, the Supreme Court ruled Friday that states cannot ban same-sex marriage, establishing a new civil right and handing gay rights advocates a victory that until very recently would have seemed unthinkable. The 5-4 ruling had Justice Anthony Kennedy writing for the majority with the four liberal justices.
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