Inslee's final bill signing, WSP graduation, mifepristone, electric cars

Trouble viewing this email? View this in your browser.

GOV GovDelivery E-Newsletter Header

Thank you for subscribing to e-news updates from the Office of Gov. Jay Inslee. We hope you find these updates interesting, useful and worth sharing. If you’d like to update your subscription preferences or unsubscribe, you can do so here at any time. 

With a flourish, Inslee signs his last bill

It was a busy week for Gov. Jay Inslee and his pens. This legislative session was Inslee's last as governor. And on Friday with the enactment of the 2024 supplemental operating budget, the governor signed his last bill. Over three terms, Inslee signed 4,212 bills in total.

“I will just say that we all love the Evergreen State. Long may she thrive,” said Inslee.

Gov. Jay Inslee signs SB 5950, likely the last bill he'll sign as governor.

Gov. Jay Inslee signs SB 5950, likely the last bill he'll sign as governor, surrounded by legislators who helped advance the final capital and operating budgets.

Gov. Jay Inslee signs a bill surrounded by kids.

Gov. Jay Inslee had some little helpers assist him with a bill signing on Wednesday morning.

Gov. Jay Inslee signed a slate of gun violence prevention bills Wednesday.

Sens. Jamie Pederson and Manka Dhingra flank Gov. Jay Inslee as he signs gun violence prevention legislation Wednesday.

On Monday, the governor signed bills to improve access to food assistance and life-saving medications, among other bills. On Tuesday, Inslee signed a series of public safety bills to address harassment of election workers, impaired driving, and gun violence. Inslee also signed the “Nothing About Us Without Us Act” to engage underrepresented communities to improve policymaking.

Gov. Jay Inslee signs a bill surrounded by people clapping

Gov. Jay Inslee signs HB 1541, the “Nothing About Us Without Us Act,” on Tuesday.

On Thursday, the governor signed a slate of bills to improve workplace safety and drive down carbon emissions. Washington is now one step closer to linking its carbon market to the shared market between California and Quebec, stabilizing auction pricing for carbon allowances and likely reducing consumer impact. And Washington workers will now be better protected against pay discrimination and forced religious and political meetings.

The bees are buzzing about SB 5972, which protects pollinators by banning certain toxic pesticides. First Spouse Trudi Inslee testified in support of the bill in February.

A crowd forms around Gov. Jay Inslee speaking in a sunny conference room.

A supportive crowd gathered Friday for Gov. Jay Inslee to sign the capital and operating budgets from the beautiful new behavioral health teaching hospital to open soon on the University of Washington campus.

On Friday, Inslee signed off on the state’s capital and operating budgets, and a series of bills to expand behavioral health care capacity. Recent state investments in behavioral health have opened hundreds of new beds. That growth will continue thanks to fresh investments and new workforce development efforts. The governor signed the bills from the new University of Washington Center for Behavioral Health and Learning, set to open this summer. It will support 150 beds and will train aspiring behavioral health specialists for vital careers caring for Washingtonians with such issues.

The 2024 legislative session was a shorter 60-day session but a productive one. Washington’s newest laws and investments will take down fentanyl, slash emissions, expand behavioral health capacity, improve roadway safety, curb gun violence, and more.

Construction workers pack the governor's conference room on Wednesday as he signed HB 2266.

Construction workers packed the governor's conference room on Wednesday as he signed HB 2266, requiring construction worksites to have ample facilities to accommodate workers who menstruate or lactate.

Washington State Patrol graduates new class of troopers

The Washington State Patrol graduated a new class of 47 troopers on March 27.

The Washington State Patrol graduated a new class of 47 troopers on March 27.

The Washington State Patrol graduated its 118th Trooper Basic Training Class on Wednesday.

“Who are you?” asked WSP Chief John Batiste. “You are individuals of great character. You have chosen to serve the citizens of the great state of Washington in a fair, dignified, and respectful fashion. You are people of courage.”

“New troopers, I came here on behalf of millions of Washingtonians to salute you,” said Gov. Jay Inslee. “Because you have made the decision in your personal lives to commit yourself to others.”

WSP’s basic training course combines theory and practice. Each of the 47 cadets completed 1,400 hours of training and classroom instruction at the WSP Academy in Shelton. They also perform extensive field work alongside a training officer.

The combined efforts of the 118th TBTC class resulted in 9,065 driver contacts, 3,069 calls for service, the removal of 540 impaired drivers from our roadways, and 976 collision investigations during their two-month long coaching trip. 

Several of the new troopers were recognized for their excellence in training. Trooper Heather Stokes was given the Top Overall Cadet Award, awarded for extraordinary effort and performance over the course of training. And Trooper Cameron MacDonald was given the Core Values Award, a reflection of his integrity and accountability.

This year’s WSP Core Values Award was given by the WSP Memorial Foundation in honor of Eric T. Gunderson, who died in the line of duty in 2021. Future Core Values Awards will be given in honor of Trooper Chris Gadd, killed in the line of duty earlier this month.

News you might have missed:

Inslee, Reproductive Freedom Alliance raise awareness to ongoing attacks on abortion rights

The U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday heard oral arguments in Food and Drug Administration, et al. v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, the most significant abortion rights case since the court overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022. Gov. Jay Inslee appeared on the Pantsuit Politics podcast and MSNBC Tuesday to defend mifepristone’s safety and importance. Inslee and the other Democratic governors of the Reproductive Freedom Alliance issued a statement, warning “any rollback on access to mifepristone would cause major disruptions to state health care systems, further strain providers, and pose serious health risks to millions of women.”

Inslee was the first governor to stockpile the abortion drug mifepristone ahead of the lower federal court ruling out of Texas that is now before the Supreme Court. If those seeking to block access to this long-proven medication succeed, Washington state has a 3-year supply it can still distribute in the state.

Region’s first H2 fuel cell vehicle hits the road

Lewis County Transit has a shiny new bus. It’s powered by a clean-running hydrogen fuel cell, the first of its kind in the Pacific Northwest. The agency will receive four more similar buses by 2025, a big step forward in the agency’s transition to a zero-emission fleet. The bus is an early product of the Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Hub, a U.S. Department of Energy-supported program stimulating clean hydrogen innovations across Oregon and Washington. Funding from the Climate Commitment Act also supported creation of the hub.

1 in 5 cars bought in WA are electric

One in five new cars sold in Washington is electric. Washington trails only California for EV market share. Overall, the number of EVs zooming around Washington nearly doubled from January 2022 to January 2024. Every new car sold in Washington state in 2035 and beyond must be a zero-emissions model, and Washingtonians are leaning into this cleaner, cheaper future. Statewide, thousands of new public electric vehicle chargers are springing up thanks to Climate Commitment Act funding.