House Chamber, Olympia, Tuesday, January 12, 2016


The House was called to order at 9:55 a.m. by the Speaker (Representative Orwall presiding).


Reading of the Journal of the previous day was dispensed with and it was ordered to stand approved.




January 11, 2016


The Senate has adopted:



and the same are herewith transmitted.


Hunter G. Goodman, Secretary


January 11, 2016


The Senate has adopted:


and the same are herewith transmitted.


Hunter G. Goodman, Secretary


There being no objection, the House advanced to the fourth order of business.




HB 2368 by Representatives Hurst and Condotta


AN ACT Relating to creating a two-year pilot program authorizing up to five qualified licensed marijuana retailers to deliver marijuana to Washington residents in a city with a population of over six hundred fifty thousand; creating new sections; prescribing penalties; and providing an expiration date.


Referred to Committee on Commerce & Gaming.


HB 2369 by Representative Hurst


AN ACT Relating to the authority of liquor enforcement officers; and amending RCW 66.44.010.


Referred to Committee on Public Safety.


HB 2370 by Representatives Hurst and Sawyer


AN ACT Relating to prohibiting fantasy sports games; amending RCW 9.94A.515; adding new sections to chapter 9.46 RCW; creating a new section; and prescribing penalties.


Referred to Committee on Commerce & Gaming.


HB 2371 by Representatives Kuderer, Magendanz, Hudgins, McBride, Goodman, Senn, Jinkins, Appleton and Kilduff


AN ACT Relating to the court's consultation of the judicial information system before granting orders; and amending RCW 2.28.210.


Referred to Committee on Judiciary.


HB 2372 by Representatives Senn, Kagi, Jinkins, Tarleton, Reykdal, Appleton, McBride, Pollet and Farrell


AN ACT Relating to the disposition of forfeited firearms; and amending RCW 9.41.098.


Referred to Committee on Judiciary.


HB 2373 by Representatives Senn, Kagi, Stambaugh, Kuderer, Jinkins, Reykdal, Robinson, Frame, Kilduff, Sawyer, Orwall, Sells, McBride, Bergquist and Pollet


AN ACT Relating to evaluating student mental health services and providing students with skills that promote mental health and well-being and increase academic performance; amending RCW 28A.310.500; creating new sections; and providing an expiration date.


Referred to Committee on Education.


HB 2374 by Representatives Senn, Kagi, Appleton, Walkinshaw, McBride, Peterson, Pollet and Farrell


AN ACT Relating to a statewide ammunition fee to fund local public safety; amending RCW 82.14.310 and 82.14.330; adding new sections to chapter 9.41 RCW; creating new sections; and prescribing penalties.


Referred to Committee on Judiciary.


HB 2375 by Representatives Magendanz, Orwall, Smith, Tarleton, MacEwen, Muri, Stanford and Wylie


AN ACT Relating to cybercrime; amending RCW 9.94A.515; reenacting and amending RCW 9A.52.010; adding a new chapter to Title 9A RCW; creating new sections; repealing RCW 9A.52.110, 9A.52.120, and 9A.52.130; and prescribing penalties.


Referred to Committee on Public Safety.


HB 2376 by Representatives Dunshee and Chandler


AN ACT Relating to fiscal matters; amending RCW 19.02.210, 38.52.105, 41.80.010, 43.79.201, 43.79.460, 43.79.496, 43.83B.360, 43.350.070, 43.372.070, 69.50.530, 90.56.335, and 90.76.100; amending 2015 3rd sp.s. c 4 ss 101, 102, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, 118, 119, 120, 121, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 131, 132, 133, 134, 135, 136, 137, 138, 139, 140, 141, 142, 143, 144, 145, 146, 147, 148, 149, 150, 151, 201, 202, 203, 204, 205, 206, 207, 208, 209, 210, 211, 212, 213, 214, 215, 216, 217, 218, 219, 220, 221, 222, 301, 302, 303, 304, 305, 306, 307, 308, 309, 310, 311, 401, 402, 501, 502, 504, 505, 507, 508, 509, 510, 511, 512, 513, 514, 515, 516, 517, 601, 605, 606, 607, 608, 609, 610, 611, 612, 613, 614, 615, 616, 617, 618, 619, 620, 701, 704, 705, 712, 725, 801, 802, 803, and 805 (uncodified); adding new sections to 2015 3rd sp.s. c 4 (uncodified); repealing 2015 3rd sp.s. c 4 s 715 (uncodified); making appropriations; and declaring an emergency.


Referred to Committee on Appropriations.


HB 2377 by Representatives Taylor, Magendanz, Reykdal, Young, Stokesbary, Muri, Condotta, Rossetti, Wilson and Scott


AN ACT Relating to establishing schools as essential public facilities within the growth management act; amending RCW 36.70A.200; creating new sections; and declaring an emergency.


Referred to Committee on Local Government.


HB 2378 by Representatives Stanford and Chandler


AN ACT Relating to the caseload forecast council; amending RCW 43.88C.010, 43.88C.020, and 43.88C.050; and creating a new section.


Referred to Committee on Appropriations.


HB 2379 by Representatives Moeller, Jinkins and Appleton


AN ACT Relating to the creation of two elder justice center demonstration programs; adding a new section to chapter 74.34 RCW; and creating a new section.


Referred to Committee on Judiciary.


HB 2380 by Representatives Tharinger and DeBolt


AN ACT Relating to the capital budget; making appropriations and authorizing expenditures for capital improvements; amending RCW 43.83B.430 and 70.148.020; amending 2015 3rd sp.s. c 3 ss 1036, 1037, 1076, 1077, 1083, 1095, 1114, 2004, 2016, 2023, 2035, 2038, 3054, 3058, 3059, 3060, 3066, 3084, 3165, 3166, 3200, 3224, 3235, 4002, 5010, 5011, 5012, 5013, 5085, 5086, 5089, 5098, 5101, 7001, 7002, 7012, 7023, 7037, and 7038 (uncodified); adding new sections to 2015 3rd sp.s. c 3 (uncodified); creating a new section; repealing 2015 3rd sp.s. c 3 s 1072 (uncodified); making appropriations; and declaring an emergency.


Referred to Committee on Capital Budget.


HB 2381 by Representatives Ortiz-Self, Kilduff, Walsh, Peterson, Gregerson, Cody, Caldier, Jinkins, Reykdal, Frame, Stanford, Sells, McBride, Bergquist and Pollet


AN ACT Relating to creating a task force on school counselors, psychologists, and social workers; creating a new section; and providing an expiration date.


Referred to Committee on Education.


HB 2382 by Representatives Magendanz, Muri, Stambaugh, Caldier, Stokesbary, Hargrove and Pollet


AN ACT Relating to increasing recruitment and retention of teachers in alternate route programs; amending RCW 28A.415.265; creating new sections; and providing expiration dates.


Referred to Committee on Education.


HB 2383 by Representatives Reykdal, Ormsby, Jinkins, Appleton, Stanford, Gregerson, McBride and Santos


AN ACT Relating to establishing acupuncture as an authorized treatment for injured workers; and amending RCW 51.04.030.


Referred to Committee on Labor & Workplace Standards.


HB 2384 by Representatives Buys, Wylie, Orwall and Rodne


AN ACT Relating to clarifying the meaning of mobile telecommunications service provider; amending RCW 9A.86.010; and prescribing penalties.


Referred to Committee on Technology & Economic Development.


HB 2385 by Representatives Pollet and Farrell


AN ACT Relating to requiring certain asphalt production facilities to meet contemporary air emission standards; and adding a new section to chapter 70.94 RCW.


Referred to Committee on Environment.


HB 2386 by Representatives Pollet, Van De Wege, Jinkins, Tarleton, Walkinshaw and Stanford


AN ACT Relating to providing the public with information regarding products that result from certain approved beneficial uses of biosolids; amending RCW 70.95J.010, 70.95J.030, and 70.95J.020; and prescribing penalties.


Referred to Committee on Agriculture & Natural Resources.


HB 2387 by Representative S. Hunt


AN ACT Relating to flamethrowing devices; adding a new section to chapter 43.43 RCW; adding a new chapter to Title 70 RCW; and prescribing penalties.


Referred to Committee on Public Safety.


HB 2388 by Representatives Hudgins, MacEwen, Stanford, Rossetti and Bergquist


AN ACT Relating to theatrical wrestling; amending RCW 67.08.100 and 67.08.160; reenacting and amending RCW 67.08.002; adding a new section to chapter 67.08 RCW; and creating a new section.


Referred to Committee on Business & Financial Services.


HJM 4012          by Representatives Moeller, Jinkins and Stanford


Requesting that the food and drug administration continue its efforts to change its blood donation deferral guidance.


Referred to Committee on Health Care & Wellness.


SCR 8406           by Senators Fain and Rolfes


Establishing cutoff dates for the consideration of legislation during the 2016 regular session of the sixty-fourth legislature.


There being no objection, the bills, memorials, and resolutions listed on the day’s introduction sheet under the fourth order of business were referred to the committees so designated, with the exception of SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 8406 which was read the first time, and under suspension of the rules was placed on the second reading calendar.


The Speaker assumed the chair.




The Speaker signed the following bills:





The Speaker called upon Representative Orwall to preside.


There being no objection, the House advanced to the eighth order of business.


There being no objection, the Committee on Appropriations was relieved of HOUSE BILL NO. 1734, and the bill was referred to the Committee on Judiciary.




January 12, 2016


The President has signed:



and the same are herewith transmitted.


Hunter G. Goodman, Secretary




The Senate appeared at the Chamber doors and requested admission.  The Sergeant at Arms of the House and the Sergeant at Arms of the Senate escorted President of the Senate, Lieutenant Governor Brad Owen, Senator Tim Sheldon and Senator Karen Faser to seats on the Rostrum.  The Senators were invited to sit within the Chamber.


The Speaker (Representative Orwall presiding) called upon President Owen to preside. 


The President of the Senate, Lieutenant Governor Owen, called the Joint Session to order.  The Clerk called the roll of House members.  The Clerk called the roll of Senate members.  A quorum of the Legislature was present.


President Owen: "The purpose of the Joint Session is to receive the state of the state message from His Excellency, Governor Jay Inslee.


The President appointed a special committee to escort the Supreme Court Justices to the House Chamber:  Representatives Patty Kuderer and Drew Stokesbary, and Senators Karen Keiser and Steve O'Ban.


The President appointed a special committee to escort the State elected officials to the House Chamber:  Representatives Noel Frame and Gina McCabe, and Senators Don Benton and Maralyn Chase.


The President appointed a special committee to advise His Excellency, Governor Jay Inslee, that the joint session had assembled and to escort him to the House Chamber:  Representatives J.D. Rossetti and Teri Hickel, and Senators Jan Angel and Reuven Carlyle.


The Supreme Court Justices arrived, were escorted to the Floor of the House Chamber and were introduced: Chief Justice Barbara Madsen, Associate Chief Justice Charles Johnson, and Justices Susan Owens, Mary Fairhurst, Debra Stephens, Charlie Wiggins, Steven Gonzalez, Sheryl Gordon McCloud and Mary Yu.


The State elected officials arrived, were escorted to the floor of the House and were introduced:  Secretary of State Kim Wyman, Treasurer Jim McIntire, Attorney General Bob Ferguson, Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn, Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler and Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark.


The President introduced the officers and members of the Consular Association of Washington: Consular Generals Masahiro Omura of Japan, Duk-ho Moon of the Republic of Korea, Khalit  Aisin of the Russian Federation, Eduardo Baca of Mexico, Robin Twyman of the United Kingdom, Harkiran Rajasansi of Canada, Clary Aida Monzon de Pineda of El Salvador, H. Ronald Masnik of Belgium, Vassos M. Demetriou of Cyprus, Luis Esteban of Spain, Jack A. Cowan of France, Helen M. Szablya of Hungary, Matti Suokko of Finland, Daravuth Huoth of Cambodia, Philippe Goetschel of Switzerland, Lars Jonsson of Sweden, Kim Nesselquist of Norway, Stephen Zirschky of Latvia, Rachel Jacobsen of New Zealand, Pedro Augusto Leite Costa of Brazil, Teresa Indelak Davis of Poland, Eva Kammel of Austria, Valeriy Goloborodko of Ukraine, Mark Gantar of Ethiopia, Andy Chin of Taiwan, Victor Lapatinskas of Lithuania, and Miguel Velasquez of Peru.


The President introduced First Lady Trudi Inslee and members of the Inslee family.


The President introduced the leaders representing various tribal nations: Timothy Ballew II, Chairman of the Lummi Nation; Carol Evans, Chairwoman of the Spokane Tribe; Bill Iyall, Chairman of the Cowlitz Tribe; Naomi Jacobson, Quileute Tribal Councilmember; Jay Julius, Lummi Tribal Councilmember; Fawn Sharp, President of the Quinault Indian Nation; and Tom Strong, Skokomish Tribal Councilmember.


The President introduced leaders from our institutions of higher education: Bill Ayer, Chair, University of Washington Board of Regents; Dan Bernardo, President of Washington State University; and George Bridges, President of The Evergreen State College.


The President introduced civic leaders in attendance: Carol Anders, Mayor of Pateros; Pat McCarthy, Pierce County Executive; Ed Murray, Mayor of Seattle; Ray Stephanson, Mayor of Everett; Ron Sims, Former King County Executive; and Ralph Munro, Former Secretary of State.


The President also recognized Carmento Floyd, widow of former Washington State University President Elson Floyd.


His Excellency Governor Jay Inslee arrived, was escorted to the Rostrum and was introduced.


The flags were escorted to the rostrum by the Washington State Patrol Honor Guard, commanded by Sergeant Jason Greer.  The National Anthem was performed by the Ballard High School Concert Choir.  The President led the Chamber in the Pledge of Allegiance.  Prayer was offered by Father Steve Werner, St. Patrick Catholic Parish, Pasco, Washington.


Father Werner: “Creator and ruler of the universe, We give you thanks for the beauty and richness of our state.  From the arid Snake River Canyon to the temperate rainforest of the western Olympic Peninsula.  From the Salmon-Priest Wilderness Area to the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge.  From Mount Adams to Mount Baker.  From the Blues Mountains to the San Juan Islands.  From the waves of grain on the Palouse to the waves of the ocean on the Pacific Coast.  From the Spokane Valley to the Puget Sound.  From the Columbia River’s entrance near Northport to its delta near Ilwaco.

You entrusted your world to us as a gift.  Help us to care for it and all people, that we may live in right relationship--with You, with ourselves, with one another, and with creation.

You created human beings in your image and likeness.  Help us to imitate your love for the human family by recognizing that we are all connected—to our brothers and sisters around our state, around our nation, around our world, and to past and future generations.

Giver of wisdom and love, You breathe life in us and guide us. Help us to hear the cry of those in need, and the cry of creation, so that we may care for our common home.

Help us as a state to be merciful as You are merciful.  May all who live in poverty be nourished, sheltered, clothed, and cared for.  May families be strengthened, and workers who support those families receive just compensation and treatment.  May all children have access to a quality education.  May the immigrant, refugee and unborn be welcomed.  May the physically and mentally ill receive adequate medical care, and the healthy have access to preventative care.  May the imprisoned be rehabilitated.  May the elderly and vulnerable be revered and respected.

Help us to live according to your vision, stirring to action the hearts of all—individuals and families, communities of faith and good will, and civil and political leaders.

Spirit of God, In your goodness, guide those in authority.  Bless our governor and the servants of our State who are engaged in the noble profession of legislation for the common good of all.  Give them wisdom in all of their decision-making, so that people throughout our state may enjoy freedom, security and peace. 





Governor Inslee: “Thank you, Father Werner, for those inspirational words.

Thank you to the Ballard High School Concert Choir for that beautiful rendition of our national anthem.

Mr. President, Mr. Speaker, Madam Chief Justice, distinguished justices of the court, honored officials, members of the Washington State Legislature, tribal leaders, local government officials, members of the Consular Corps and my fellow Washingtonians.

It is an honor to stand here once again to talk about the great state of Washington.

I consider it a tremendous privilege to serve as governor of the most innovative, most forward-thinking, most dynamic state in the nation.

And I couldn’t do this job without the incredible support of the people who are constant reminders of why everything we do here matters: My family, especially my wife, Trudi, and my three grandchildren.

Since we all last met, we’ve celebrated some big moments in the state of Washington. I want to begin today by taking a moment to highlight some of these.

We witnessed a new milestone in space exploration. Remember those incredible photos of Pluto last year? We know how that spacecraft got there. Nine years ago, propulsion engineers over at Aerojet Rocketdyne in Redmond were working on the rockets for the New Horizons mission.

And now we’re at the forefront with companies like Blue Origin and Space X. They’ve brought the future of space travel to our state, successfully launching — and landing — rockets over the past year. It’s exciting these companies recognize that the greatest aerospace workers in the world are found right here in the state of Washington. 

We saluted the accomplishments of educators like Jennifer Cullison, a science teacher from Woodland High School in Clark County. She was named a Claes Nobel Educator of the Year. Isn’t it great this prestigious honor was given to one of our own outstanding, hard-working teachers? Please join me in recognizing her achievements.

We also celebrated the nation’s oldest working registered nurse, SeeSee Rigney, who is still practicing at 90 years of age. If you want to be inspired, go see Nurse SeeSee making the rounds at Tacoma General Hospital, where she has worked for nearly 70 years.

We also had some sad moments over the past year. For me, one of those moments was when we said goodbye to Washington State University President Elson Floyd.

Elson was one of my most-trusted advisers. He played a key role in shaping my administration. I miss him. I know we all miss him. But his legacy will live on in our state’s second medical school, a school that will carry his name.

We are honored to have Elson’s widow, Carmenta Floyd, here with us today. Please join me in recognizing Carmenta and her contributions to education in our state.

We also lost a member of our Washington State National Guard in Afghanistan last week, Staff Sergeant Matthew McClintock. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, especially his wife and infant son in Des Moines. Please join me in a moment of silence to honor his service and sacrifice.

Thank you.

One year ago, I stood here and said it was time to reinvest in ourselves, in our future and in our children’s future. To do these things, we’d have to work in a bipartisan way. Let’s be honest — that’s not always easy.

But I’m happy to say that we did just that. We accomplished some big things last year in a bipartisan fashion, like transportation.

Back in the fall of 2014, there were those who thought we ought to just fix a few potholes and call it good.

But I didn’t give up. And I continued working together with the House and Senate, with Republicans and Democrats, with business and labor. And together, we passed a $16 billion package, the largest — and the greenest — transportation package in Washington state history.

We also authorized another $15 billion for Sound Transit light rail expansion.

Not only will this help congestion, this package supports 200,000 family-wage jobs across our state.

We’ve been out formally kicking off these projects. I’ve been to Everett, I’ve been to Tacoma, and tomorrow, I’ll be in Vancouver, celebrating the projects funded by this package. It’s a great feeling. And we were able to get that done because we worked together.

Speaking of investments, let’s talk about the most important investment we know we can make, and that’s in our children. Last year we put an additional $2.3 billion in early learning, K-12 and higher education funding in the budget on a bipartisan basis.  Since 2013, education funding increased by 35 percent.

It is altogether fitting and proper we take a moment to recognize this incredible investment. We should be proud that we made the largest dollar-amount investment in education in Washington state history.

At the same time, no one should believe we’re done. We have more work to do, and I’ll talk about that in a moment. But we have taken major steps that will have major impacts for our kids.

We’ve given nearly 7,000 more children access to high-quality early learning over the past three years.

We’ve provided funding for every child to have all-day kindergarten. This and early learning were some of my highest priorities because they are critical educational opportunities that come along only once in the life of a child.

Of all the things we do, I believe this will have the most impact in our communities, and do the most to close the opportunity gap.

In our state, every single child deserves a great education in our public schools.

We’ve reduced class sizes in our kindergarten-through-third grade classrooms.

And because we know a high-quality teacher is the single most important asset in every classroom, we provided funding for more teacher mentoring opportunities, especially for new teachers.

And we were able to provide them with a cost-of-living adjustment — the first since 2008. It was a modest increase. I recognize that.

We also did something to make paying for college easier on family budgets.

Isn’t it great we’re the only state in the nation that passed a tuition cut last year?

Republicans had a great idea to do that. I gladly give them credit.

I also gladly give Democrats credit for coming in and saying we ought to cut tuition for everyone, including for students at our community and technical colleges. And together, we found a way to pay for that. That’s something everyone here can celebrate.

And finally, we restored funding for one of our most precious public assets, our state parks. It is heartbreaking to have even considered having to close these parks.

You know, one day last year I stopped at Twanoh State Park on Hood Canal and there was a family there with a young kid, just playing in this little swim area. It took me back to my own childhood, when my dad and mom would throw us in the back of the station wagon and take us to Twanoh for the day.

Just knowing this tradition will continue is extremely gratifying, and it keeps with the spirit of one of our state’s biggest outdoor recreation proponents, my friend, the late Doug Walker. Doug’s deep love of Washington’s wilderness will continue to be felt through the impact of his philanthropic efforts and his work on the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Parks and Outdoor Recreation. Our thoughts are with the Walker family as they mourn his recent passing.

Finally, we gave state employees their first wage increase since 2008, and I’d like to speak directly to them for a moment.

A lot of you are doing really great work. I was happy to finally be able to get you a modest raise.

Under my Results Washington initiative, our state has become a national leader in using performance management strategies to improve government. John Shook, who is known for being the godfather of Lean management in America, has told us that he believes Washington is at the very forefront of this effort. Thousands of you are showing the world how the public sector can use Lean thinking to manage growing workloads, increase efficiency and improve quality. I commend you for that.

Those of you on the front lines of our state agencies really do important work. Part of this effort is that we hold ourselves to the highest standards. So if the public trust is violated, we blow the whistle on it, and we provide absolute accountability. And that’s what’s happening with the sentencing errors that went on for 13 years at the Department of Corrections.

You are often the first ones to see when something is not working right. That’s why you should feel empowered to bring these things to management’s attention and know you are being heard. I expect all state employees, and especially your managers, to act responsibly in this regard, and you can expect those who do not to be held accountable.

We always have to remember that our core mission is serving the people of Washington. Every single thing we do ought to reflect that mission.

Now, I came into office focused on creating jobs and growing our economy. It’s why I’ve pushed for these investments in education, in transportation, and in our quality of life. So let’s look at how we’re doing.

I’m pleased to report that Washington continues to rank in the top five states for job growth.

We have the fastest GDP growth in the nation, more than twice the national growth rate.

And over the past few years, Washington exports grew a whopping 20 percent —more than any other state. California, New York, Texas — we beat them all.

Look, I’ve been focused on jobs since I took office. So it’s very gratifying to be able to say that we’ve added nearly a quarter million jobs since 2013.

There are 30,000 more people working in the building trades sector than there were three years ago. I’m so glad they are able to get up every day and go to good-paying jobs, building our economy.

Although our economic growth has not been uniform, we do know that unemployment in all our state’s counties is now, for the first time in eight years, in the single digits. 

Folks, there is a lot of good economic news in the state of Washington these days. And it means we’re doing something right.

And we should have confidence, because we know what we’ve already achieved together the past three years.

So with all of us gathered here, I want to talk about what I think our business is for the next 60 days. Between now and March 10th, there are four things that must get done.

First, we have a serious statewide teacher shortage from Kennewick to Kent, from Yakima to Everett. All told, we need about 7,000 more teachers in our schools.

Now, I’ve proposed a way to do this. It’s a small but important first step to address this very real problem.

To recruit and retain teachers, my plan would raise their beginning salary from just under $36,000 to $40,000 per year. Nearly 8,800 beginning teachers would see a raise next year under this proposal.

Then, to help make all teacher salaries more competitive, my plan also provides a minimum 1 percent raise to all other teachers. It also increases funding for our teacher mentoring program, so teachers in their first or second year on the job have the support they need and don’t end up leaving the profession, which half are doing.

And I propose we pay for it through elimination of some tax breaks whose benefits simply do not outweigh our obligations to our students, to our teachers and to our schools.

For those who wonder how we’re going to get this done, here’s a reminder that we’ve done it before. In the past three years, we’ve closed tax breaks on a bipartisan basis that generate $1.1 billion over six years. We did it because we had some critical needs in our state. We can do it again.

Because it doesn’t matter if we have the best mentors for our teachers, or the smallest class sizes in the nation. If nobody is standing in front of the classroom, we have zip.

The second thing we need to focus on is last year’s record-setting wildfires.

A million acres of our state were scorched — an area larger than the state of Delaware. More than 300 homes — primarily in Eastern Washington — were destroyed. And tragically, three firefighters lost their lives.

I’ve proposed using our Budget Stabilization Account to cover the $180 million in costs related to battling these wildfires. It’s exactly what these reserves were meant for.

Additionally, I’ve proposed using $29 million from the Disaster Response Account to help communities recover from these devastating fires and to ensure we are better prepared for our next fire season.

The third thing we need to focus on is our mental health system. During the Great Recession, the state made devastating cuts to services for our most vulnerable, and we continue to be hobbled by those cuts.

While we have acted together to add more than $700 million to our state’s mental health system, we still have significant work to do.

It is not acceptable to let people with severe mental illness languish in our emergency rooms and jails.

In the last legislative session, we added hundreds of treatment beds, psychologists and psychiatrists, nurses and other staff to get people treated more quickly.

My December supplemental budget also included a number of investments to keep people out of our hospitals and keep them safely in their communities, with family and friends.

After all, only 3 percent of the people who access mental health services in this state go to our state hospitals. The other 97 percent are served in our communities, and we need to make sure that we have the appropriate services in place for them.

These aren’t nameless, faceless people. They are our loved ones. They are our colleagues. They are our friends. We’re talking about the elderly person with dementia, or the college freshman who experiences a psychotic break, or the wounded veteran with a traumatic brain injury. And we need to make sure they get the treatment to stabilize and help them.

This is why my budget proposal funds four new 16-bed crisis triage facilities and three new mobile crisis teams across the state to reach those in need.

But all the investments we’ve made require skilled staff to set them up and keep them running. Right now, we have a serious staffing shortage, particularly at our state psychiatric hospitals.

We need to ensure we have enough doctors, nurses, social workers and treatment staff so that everyone is safe — patients and staff.

These are investments we ought to have confidence in, because we know when people get the mental health treatment they need, they can improve dramatically. People walk out of Western State Hospital and go on to have great, productive lives. 

So we have urgent short-term needs. But we also need to take the long view on how to organize and deliver a stronger mental health system for our citizens. That’s why my budget includes funding for just this purpose.

Our aim is simple: timely access to high-quality treatment in the appropriate setting.

We’ve all known someone struggling with mental illness. Let’s get this done for them this year.

Now, let’s talk about our fourth pressing need. We need to put in place a framework for our future K-12 education investments. This is absolutely necessary this session.

We are on track. I convened a bipartisan group of legislators who met during the summer and fall to develop this framework for the next — and the most complex — part of our K-12 financing plan. Legislation has been introduced that contains the first step so we can be successful when we return next year.

I’m confident we’ll take the second step next year because legislators have met every deadline they’ve set for themselves. Our next deadline requires the legislature to fully fund basic education in the 2017 legislative session, and there’s no reason we can’t do that too. We’re not going to just fix a few potholes, we’re going to finish the job. That means actually financing these critical investments so our kids and grandkids get the education they deserve.

And we are going to do this not just because it's a constitutional imperative, not just because it's a judicial decree, but because it's the right thing for our kids.

I also want to talk today about other issues that engage people beyond this chamber, and are important enough for a statewide conversation.

There are a variety of ways our state can move forward, and one way is the voters take things into their own hands through the initiative process.

First and foremost is the issue of working families not being able to keep up, even as our economy improves.

Our economy is not working for everyone. On the one hand, we have the biggest boomtown in North America. On the other hand, we have working families and communities falling behind even though they’re working hard and doing a great job.

I’m seeing Washingtonians — hard-working people in every corner of this state — struggling with rising housing prices, with student loan debt, with medical bills.

That’s why I’m supporting the initiative that was filed yesterday that phases in a true minimum wage and provides paid sick leave for hard-working Washingtonians.

I stand on this rock-solid belief: if you work 40 hours a week, you deserve a wage that puts a roof over your head and food on the table. Period. And you shouldn’t have to give up a day’s pay if you or your kids get sick.

But it is not just minimum-wage workers who are falling behind. The problem is most workers are not sharing in the fruits of their own increased productivity. Workers are producing more goods and services per hour than at any other time in our state’s history.

In a nutshell: People are working harder, they’re working longer hours and they’re getting paid less in real dollars.

Now, this is not true for corporate executives. The CEO-to-worker pay ratio was 20-to-1 in 1965. Today it’s more than 300-to-1. 

Look, I’m fine paying for exceptional results and investing in talent. I believe in that. But I also believe that these gaps and practices should be transparent. 

I think the State Investment Board can help.

As a shareholder in companies, the board currently votes against executive compensation packages if they do not align with the company’s financial performance.

I’ve asked the investment board to go further, and exercise its voting authority to reduce the widening pay gap between CEOs and their workers.

I’m encouraging the board to promote this policy with other states and institutional investors.

Small steps like this can be the beginnings of bigger journeys. I started a different journey last week with my new executive order on public health and firearms.

More people in Washington are dying from firearm fatalities than even from traffic accidents. We have a public health crisis in need of a public health solution. Every single day, someone in our state dies from gun violence. We can and must find effective ways to reduce the rates of accidental shootings, gun crime and suicide by gun.

My executive order would strengthen the background check system approved by voters in 2014. It will also allow us to collect information that will drive smart, data-driven solutions to gun violence. And it implements the statewide Suicide Prevention Plan recommended by a task force I convened.

No matter how this conversation advances, these are important actions we can take now.

We also need to continue to take action on protecting our clean air and clean water, particularly from the threat of carbon pollution.

In my mind’s eye, the older I get, the more beautiful Washington state becomes. Our verdant, healthy place for our kids to grow up is just a wonder. So I’m glad the needle is moving on this because the problem of carbon pollution is not going away.

Everyone knows I’m a technology optimist about this. We need more of our homegrown leaders and innovators devising solutions. 

I’m also heartened by the engagement we’re getting from the business community as our Department of Ecology drafts its Clean Air Rule. People are robustly participating in the process. They’re looking for solutions. I’m really excited about that progress, and invite anyone not yet involved to be part of this.

And in this effort, we know we’re not alone. The world is moving on this, and so are we.

Three years ago, I stood up here as the newly inaugurated governor and said that as Washington moves forward, we need to remember who we are as a state.

Looking at what we’ve accomplished together, I believe we’ve stayed true to the values we cherish as Washingtonians.

We’ve remained confident in our ability to innovate, because we’re continually recognized for the groundbreaking things our businesses and our universities are doing.

We’ve remained confident in the brightness of our future because we invested record amounts of money in our children’s education — the truest measure of our commitment.

We’ve remained confident in the inclusiveness that built our economy and today is building our communities. Whether it’s at big companies or at small businesses, we’re one of the most successful economies in the world because we embrace diversity and welcome all people to our great state.

This is a confident state. It deserves a confident Legislature. It deserves a confident governor. And I have to tell you, as a fifth- generation Washingtonian, I stand here today with confidence.

I see the greatness of this state. I feel it. I believe it. It’s who we are.

And that is how we’re going to approach this session. Not with temerity. But with confidence. With recognition of the depths of our challenges, and with confidence that together we can solve them.

So now — together — let’s get to work.”


The President thanked the Governor for his remarks and asked the special committee to escort Governor Inslee from the House Chamber.


The President asked the special committee to escort the State elected officials from the House Chamber.


The President asked the special committee to escort the Supreme Court Justices from the House Chamber.


On motion of Representative Sullivan, the Joint Session was dissolved.  The Speaker (Representative Orwall presiding) assumed the chair.


The Sergeant at Arms of the House and the Sergeant at Arms of the Senate escorted President of the Senate Owen, Senator Sheldon, Senator Fraser and members of the Washington State Senate from the House Chamber.


There being no objection, the House advanced to the eleventh order of business.


There being no objection, the House adjourned until 10:00 a.m., January 13, 2016, the 3rd Day of the Regular Session.







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Washington State Legislature

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State of the State Address...................... 4