Reflecting interests of entire state is Legislature’s biggest challenge for 2018
For the first time since 2012, a single political party controls all three bases of power at the statehouse – the House, the Senate and the governor’s mansion. Dominated by lawmakers from the urban Puget Sound area, its leaders favor policies that will drive up costs for struggling families and wreak economic havoc on less-prosperous regions of the state. The “Emerald City Curtain” blinds Seattle-area lawmakers to the impact their policies will have statewide.
The Senate Republican Caucus represents a far more diverse population – from the wheat fields and orchards of Eastern Washington to the rugged mountain regions, the farming and timber communities of the Westside, the state’s smaller cities and even the suburbs of Seattle and Tacoma. For five years, divided control of the statehouse forced lawmakers of all persuasions to work together – and the result reflected the aspirations of the state as a whole.
As the Legislature opens for business in 2018, the lack of balance hangs ominously over the statehouse. We offer this press-packet summary of the issues that will dominate debate during the session. Never has the divide in this state been so clear. And never has it been so important for Republican lawmakers to insist that the Legislature must reflect the needs of the entire state.
Individual briefing papers