Analysis: Legislative deadline approaches amid high-volume session in Olympia | KNKX

Analysis: Legislative deadline approaches amid high-volume session in Olympia

Mar 12, 2019

There is a lot of activity in the Legislature right now, as state lawmakers work against a Wednesday deadline to move bills out of their chamber of origin. Olympia correspondent Austin Jenkins talked with Morning Edition host Kirsten Kendrick about what’s going on and what’s to come.

“There does seem to be a different feel,” Jenkins said of the session, “and my sense is that there are a lot of factors contributing to that.”

Those factors include Democratic majorities across the board: “They are large and in charge in both chambers, plus they have the governor’s office.”

Nearly 40 new, outspoken members have made a strong legislative mark: “These are not wallflower members, they are activist members,” Jenkins said. “They are very much hitting the ground running.”

And the volume of bills is striking, he stressed. Among the key issues in play: the state mental health system — both funding and policy — as well as transgender rights and the environment. 

Of course, there’s also the “talker bill,” as Jenkins called it, regarding the zipper merge. “We don’t have a culture of doing it here,” he said. “So the proposal is to make the zipper part of driver’s education.

Listen to the full conversation (including Jenkins’ bumper-sticker idea) above.