According to the Elway Poll released this morning, registered lobbyists gave the 2018 Legislative Session their highest performance grade in the 9 years since the poll began.
In this year’s Legislative Report Card, lobbyists gave the legislature an overall C+ grade with a GPA of 2.47; this is a full point higher than last year’s 1.46 GPA. Of the 9 graded program areas, all received improved grades except transportation, which stayed roughly the same.
According to the poll, the highest grades went to K-12 education, social/human services, and higher education. Health care, the economy, and the environment/natural resources were the lowest scored program areas.
The poll also reports that lobbyists considered finishing on time, K-12 Funding, social services bills, and no new taxes, as the most significant outcomes of the session. The biggest disappointments of the session include the failure of the carbon tax, lack of gun safety action, and the public records bill.
In terms of the lobbyists making complaints about the session, the Elway poll reports,
“A total of 18% made complaints about the Democrats’ management of the session, including 7% who said they were breaking legislative rules or did not allow enough debate; 7% who cited lack of fiscal restraint; and 4% who claimed they were paying off their special interest backers.”
Of the “5 corners” of the legislative process, lobbyists gave their highest marks to the Senate (2.44) and House (2.42) Democrats. Senate Democrats were scored highest by the education lobby and House Democrats received their highest marks from social services advocates. House Republicans (2.14) and Senate Republicans (2.11) followed after, with the Governor’s office receiving the lowest grade (1.74). The poll says Inslee’s office received its lowest scores from the environmental lobby.
The poll also included data on lobbyists’ predictions for the 2018 elections. Seventy-five percent of lobbyists polled expect Democrats to add to their majority in the House and 66 percent say they expect more Democrats in the Senate as well. Only 2 percent thought Republicans would take the House in the 2018 elections, and 1 percent predict Republicans will regain their majority in the Senate.