Gov. Inslee proposed a $4 billion housing plan and he’s critical of the Senate operating budget proposal because it spends $400 million. The governor likes to use a clever tag line for his approach, saying, “We need to go big so people can go home.”
What the governor doesn’t say is that the $4 billion would be paid for by exceeding the state’s debt limit, and would result in taxpayers having to pay $2.4 billion in interest.
In this week’s Republican media availability, Sen. Braun was asked to address the governor’s criticism. Simply put, Sen. Braun told Gov. Jay Inslee, “Do your job or go home!”
The governor’s plan relies on an unreasonable request and a slogan. But what else can we expect from a leader under whose watch we have seen one gubernatorial and executive agency failure after another. The lowlights:
- Washington State Auditor determined that the Inslee administration and his executive agencies can’t account for how $1 billion of federal COVID money was spent.
- During the pandemic, Gov. Inslee said there was only one person in Washington who could save lives, and that was the governor — forgetting the hundreds of health-care workers who sacrificed so much to manage COVID cases.
- In the middle of a housing crisis, Inslee declares home construction non-essential and halted it as part of his COVID executive orders, but allowed commercial construction to continue.
- Schools shut down by executive order has resulted in students across Washington suffering tremendous learning loss and mental-health problems. Children of color, students living in low-income households and those receiving special education services were disproportionately affected.
- Claimed to be clueless about the siege of Seattle during the riots following the murder of George Floyd.
- Enacted a contact-tracing program that failed dramatically to reach its stated goals, along with a vaccination-tracing program that failed to include hundreds of thousands of doses given to Washington residents by federal authorities. State officials blame this mismanagement for a huge discrepancy between federal data and state figures.
- Poor oversight at Department of Corrections facilities has resulted in inadequate medical care and multiple deaths.
- Incompetence on the part of the Department of Social and Health Services and the Department of Children and Youth Services allowed the deaths and disappearances of children and vulnerable adults in their custody, resulting in enormous payouts in lawsuits.
- Legislative Democrats killed a bill that would have protected foster children. The bill was inspired by the failure of the Department of Children and Youth Services to protect Oakley Carlson.
- Exceeded his constitutional authority through the improper use of a line-item veto in the 2019 transportation budget.
- Employment Security Department intentionally cut corners, compromising security and resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars paid to Nigerian fraudsters.
- Employment Security Department left Washingtonians who lost their jobs from COVID out in the cold as they waited for months to receive their unemployment benefits only to hound them to repay thousands of dollars they eventually received.
- Poor performance of the Employment Security Department continues, leaving people struggling to receive benefits.
- Western State Hospital lost its federal accreditation, costing taxpayers $53 million a year.
- Department of Transportation poorly implemented the I-405 tolling program. Indicative of general mismanagement of the agency, it contributed the firing of former head of the DOT.
- Department of Corrections released 3,200 prisoners early, resulting in two deaths and necessitating the first Senate investigation since the 1940s.
- After repeatedly promising in 2016 not to raise taxes, Inslee has consistently proposed large tax increases. By October of 2019, he had proposed a total of $23 billion in new and increased taxes.
During his time in the governor’s office, Republicans held the majority in the Senate for five years. We have not held the majority in the Legislature. These failures fall squarely at his feet.