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a message from gov Inslee … why I did it

Jay Inslee


Last week, I made a hard decision, but it’s one I am proud of.

I vetoed a tax cut for businesses that was passed in the dark of night — a tax cut that would let businesses pay less, just as we’re asking hardworking families to pay more for our children’s education. Worse yet, 21% of the revenue of this cut would have been given to out-of-state oil companies, and there was absolutely no accountability.

This part of the bill was, simply, unfair. It cannot be justified or excused to raise taxes on hardworking families while lowering taxes for businesses. This is revenue that could be used for our schools, our early learning programs, college tuition, and public safety. This is revenue that could be used to meet our Washington citizens’ needs — not pad the pockets of Big Oil.

Here’s the thing: Republicans knew this would cause outrage. That’s why they tried to slip this into the budget in the dead of night. They knew it wouldn’t fly if debated publicly. And that’s why they’ve been attacking me since the veto, holding the legislative process hostage, and trying to build support to overturn my veto.

Please stand with me — for fairness, for Washington families, and for our kids. Voice your support now.

Please, sign on to show your support for my veto of a tax cut for businesses, at the same time we’re asking Washington families to pay more.

Thank you for helping me.

Very truly yours,

Jay Inslee

Gov. Jay Inslee ~ In the news room

THE Plastic Bag Ban STORY …


first posted – Nov.2011

What’s the Problem?

Washingtonians use more than 2 billion  single-use plastic bags  each year, and Seattle alone uses approximately 292  million plastic  bags annually and only 13% are recycled.  Too many plastic  bags end up  in Puget Sound where they do not biodegrade.  Plastic bags break down  into smaller and  smaller pieces that remain hazardous as they are  consumed by filter-feeders,  shellfish, fish, turtles, marine mammals,  and birds. PCB levels in Chinook  salmon from Puget Sound are 3- to  5-times higher than any other West Coast  populations.

In 2010, a  beached gray whale was  found to have 20 plastic bags in its stomach!

Data source: Keeping Plastics Out of Puget Sound,  Environment Washington Report, November 2011

How would the plastic bag ban work?

by Mike O’brien

It’s simple – retailers are prohibited from offering plastic   carryout bags to customers.  Paper bags  may still be provided to  customers for a minimum of five cents – stores keep  the nickel to help  cover the cost of providing bags.  Everyone is encouraged to bring and29 use  reusable bags.

What bags?

  • Banned Bags Include: plasticbags provided at checkout of all  retail stores (bags less than 2.25 ml thick and made from non‐renewable  sources).
  • Exclusions: bags used by shoppers in a store to package bulk  foods, meat, flowers, bakery goods or prescriptions; newspaper, door  hanger bags and dry cleaning bags.

What stores?

  • Where the policy applies: all retail stores including but not  limited to grocery stores, corner and convenience stores, pharmacies,  department stores, farmers markets, restaurants and catering trucks.
  • Where it’s not applicable: for take‐out food where there is a public health risk if a bag is not provided.

What about paper?

  • Retailers may provide paper bags made of at least 40% recycled  paper for a minimum 5 cent pass through cost that retailers keep to  offset the cost of providing bags.
  • Low income customers who qualify for food assistance programs shall be provided paper bags at no charge.

Joining cities on the West Coast and around the world

Seattle would join cities along the West Coast, hundreds of cities  across the country and twenty nations worldwide that have already taken  action to reduce the use of single use plastic bags.

  • San Francisco, CA – Banned plastic bags in 2007.
  • Los Angeles County – Banned Plastic bags November 2010; includes a 10 cent fee on paper bags.
  • Portland, OR – Banned plastic bags in summer 2011.
  • Edmonds, WA – Banned Plastic Bags in 2009; law was implemented in August 2010.
  • Bellingham, WA – Banned plastic bags in 2011, in the model outlined in this document;  legislation to be implement in summer 2012.
  • Washington DC – Implemented a 5 cent fee on paper and plastic bags in 2009; reduced  disposable bag use by 80% citywide in first year.

Background in Seattle

Approximately 292 million disposable  bags are used in the City  of Seattle annually.   In 2008, the City Council passed an ordinance that  would have placed a 20 cent fee on disposable plastic and  paper bags  at grocery, drug and convenience stores in an effort to reduce  waste.   The ordinance passed the Council  in a 6-1 vote and then opposing  parties collected enough signatures to refer  the ordinance to the  ballot, where it was over-turned by the voters (53%-47%)  in the  November 2009 primary election.   The American Chemistry Council spent  over $1.4 million opposing the law during the ballot measure campaign.

Today, as the ban on plastic bags is implemented and or enforced most checkers are asking if you would like to buy a cotton bag because there were no flimsy plastic available. Now, after finally getting those flimsy bags out some stores, others such as the Dollar store and Safeway came up with or possibly the plastic industry came up with a heavy-duty plastic supposedly reusable bag. I was at a Safeway and needed another bag. I honestly did not want to spend $5 and while I was looking around, I spot a heavy-duty plastic Safeway logo inscribed bag with pretty colours. This was a disappointing find on so many environmental official statewide ban levels though i admit it can be reused, it is quite large and was only .25 but they tear easily. I bought one to see how it would hold up and it lasted about 2hours … so, the next question for king county is if they actually have folks checking in on stores selling heavy-duty reusable plastic bags

What plastic bags?   ugh


SB5289 ~ Washington State Distracted Driving Law Taking Effect in July

The bill, SB 5289  making use of a mobile phone while driving a primary offense exempts a driver who is using a personal electronic device to contact emergency services and also someone operating an authorized emergency vehicle.

Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee signed three bills into law on May 16 that aim to reduce distracted driving and impaired driving.

The bills make any use of a mobile phone while driving a primary offense, make an individual driver’s fourth DUI a felony, and implement recommendations from a task force on impaired driving. Inslee’s signature means the distracted driving law goes into effect in July 2017.

“We’re suffering a scourge of death of our loved ones on our roadways, due to two problems: distracted driving and impaired driving,” he said. “Today I’m signing three bills to confront these scourges head on.”

Inslee mentioned at the signing ceremony in Tacoma the case of Sam Thompson, a junior at Lewis and Clark College who was killed one week before his 21st birthday when he crashed while sending a text. Lavera Wade, his grandmother, attended the ceremony; she had worked with other victims’ families to see the law passed, according to Inslee’s news release.

The bill making use of a mobile phone while driving a primary offense is SB 5289. It exempts a driver who is using a personal electronic device to contact emergency services; the use of a system by a transit system employee for time-sensitive relay communication between the transit system employee and the transit system’s dispatch services; an individual employed as a commercial motor vehicle driver who uses a personal electronic device within the scope of his or her employment if such use is permitted under 49 U.S.C. Sec. 31136 as it existed on the effective date of the law; and a person operating an authorized emergency vehicle.


Washington State Legislature passes paid family leave (!)

We are Working Washington


Good news: late Friday evening, the Washington State Legislature passed paid family leave, and this afternoon the Governor signed it into law! That means workers in our state will finally have time to care, with up to 12 weeks of paid leave to care for a family member’s serious medical condition, and up to 12 weeks of paid leave to care for your own serious medical condition.

Deja“With my first child, I had to start working from home 10 days after giving birth. When I returned to working onsite, I cried in the car every day. It was almost physically painful to be separated from my baby. Investing in our moms and babies now will benefit everyone in the long run.”

—Deja H., Seattle

Paid family leave is a major bright spot in a legislative session that didn’t have a lot of other positive developments — and it only happened because we all made it happen.

Working Washington members and many others testified before the State Legislature about the need for paid family leave. Dozens of you shared your personal stories online to help make the case. Baristas spoke out, took action, and generated a flood of local and even national news coverage about the issue. Thousands of people across the state sent messages to elected officials.

Workers speaking out is how we set the stage for legislators to reach agreement. It’s how we raised the minimum wage and passed secure scheduling. And it’s how we just won paid family leave too.

Click here to check out the details, and then consider making a contribution to power the next big breakthrough for workers in our state.


Tina“I had to leave a new job that I only had a couple of months because I could not find adequate daycare for my newborn son. Paid family leave is essential. Life is full of unexpected moments. Everyone needs that backup plan to sort it out, regain balance, and get back to business.”

— Tina K., Lake Stevens