The Seattle Times editorial board urges lawmakers to challenge Gov. Inslee’s “abuses of veto power.” Earlier, we noted a similar appeal from the editorial board of The Columbian.
The two editorials follow the Nov. 10 state Supreme Court ruling that the governor overstepped his constitutional authority in vetoing provisions of 2019 transportation legislation.
The ST editorial says,
The Legislature must take one of two paths forward, and soon. The first option is making good on longstanding promises to challenge other Inslee abuse of line-item veto power, now that the high court has shown willingness to rebuke this behavior. The second is doing the hard and necessary work to pass a long-range transportation package and make the argument moot.
The 7-2 court ruling should equip legislative leaders to pursue action now.
The inadequacy and disrepair of the state’s roads, bridges, rails and ferries is beyond dispute. Inslee himself pointed to a deferred-maintenance backlog in March and declared“the jig is up” on infrastructure delays. Yet the same governor proved himself unwilling to put his policies where his mouth is just two months later, abusing line-item authority to disconnect this need from his environmental agenda.
Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig and House Speaker Laurie Jinkins, both Democrats, condemned the governor for exceeding his power and said lawsuits were coming. Now six months later, they have not delivered. Billig said Tuesday through a spokesperson, “We will sue over that veto, and that is still the plan” but gingerly left the timing unanswered. Jinkins said through a spokesperson that caucus leaders “hope to have the final decision resolved by the end of the year.”