After two years of passing some major legislation while literally phoning it in, Washington state lawmakers are back in the Capitol building and ready to water down bills designed to house the homeless (and everyone else), protect abortion, save the planet, staff up critical industries, improve the criminal justice system, fund treatment and recovery facilities, name a state dinosaur, tax the rich, figure out a way to adequately fund education, and do a bunch of other important stuff that actually matters in your daily life!!!
The news team here at The Stranger is back, too, emotionally (we never really went anywhere). Nevertheless, we’ll be keeping our eye on the goings-on from our own offices here in the Chinatown-International District—and occasionally from a cheap hotel in downtown Olympia, if we can get someone to let us borrow their car for a day.
That’s because this is one of the big years in Olympia. It’s the year when the Governor proposes a new biennial budget, which sets the agenda and the tone for the next 24 months.
This year, Inslee wants you to pay attention to a $4 billion credit card purchase he wants to make to help finance affordable housing and services for homeless people, mostly because he needs your vote at the ballot box to get it done. TV news wants you to pay attention to cops who want to increase your risk of dying in car chases, mostly because that’s how they pay their rent. And we want you to pay attention to … well, a lot.
Matt Baume brings hopeful news from the world of housing: the state might actually let us build much more of it this year!!
Hannah Krieg lays out the state’s plan for protecting abortion after those fucks at SCOTUS handed down a big “fuck you” to everyone with a uterus last summer.
And I dig into the state of progressive tax reform, and also answer the question that comes to mind toward the end of session every year: DEMOCRATS CONTROL OLYMPIA—WHY DON’T THEY SHOVE THEIR AGENDA DOWN REPUBLICAN THROATS?????
But that’s not all. Keep your eyes on TheStranger.com for updates on all things Olympia, from now until sine die.