September 9, 2019
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Questionable Vetoes


Gov. Jay Inslee gets slapped with a lawsuit, and democracy is better for it

By The News Tribune Editorial Board

Lawmakers are suing Inslee for a series of one-sentence vetoes in the state's nearly $10 billion transportation budget...

In a moment of institutional solidarity, Democrats and Republicans on the House Executive Rules Committee and the Senate Facilities & Operations Committee voted unanimously to sue.

Yes, lawmakers could have convened for a vote and overridden Inslee's vetoes with a two-thirds majority of both chambers. But both parties wisely considered the importance of precedent...

Meanwhile, legislators are still smarting from another bit of sleight of hand from Inslee, which he also used to manipulate the transportation budget to his liking.

The governor snatched $175 million in leftover funds that lawmakers had appropriated for transportation projects. He redirected the money toward removing road culverts that block fish passage, a mammoth undertaking that will take several years and cost billions of dollars...

We hope Inslee, who's seeking a third term as governor after withdrawing from the Democratic presidential field, has learned a little something about executive power.

Objectionable sentences can't just disappear, and legislatively designated funds can't just float to your preferred projects. It's a pen, sir, not a magic wand.

Read the full editorial in The News Tribune
Rural Broadband


High-speed internet is basic infrastructure for the 21st-century economy

By U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Tom Gurr, executive director of the Pacific Technology Alliance

As technology becomes increasingly integrated into our businesses, health care, and education systems, it's more important than ever to ensure that all Americans, especially those in rural areas, have access to a high-speed internet connection.

In visiting communities around our state, meeting with people on the ground, and listening to what they have to say, we're reminded that there is a significant portion of residents who don't have access to this critical technology...

High-speed broadband networks are as important as any other type of infrastructure in the 21st century. We all recognize the logistical and financial constraints of bringing broadband networks to remote or sparsely populated areas. But this technology is critical to daily life, and rural residents deserve access to the same opportunities for education, health care and economic development as people living in larger cities like Spokane. It's up to us to work together to make that happen.

Read the full op-ed in The Spokesman-Review