In his 2022 year in review, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee touted the state’s actions on green energy, environmental protections, securing abortion rights, solving the housing crisis and the prevention of gun violence.
The review was published on Inslee’s Medium page on Dec. 30. It touched on how 2022 featured another deadly surge of COVID-19 activity, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the overturn of Roe v. Wade and the Jan. 6 commission, which is looking into the storming of the U.S. Capitol.
“2022 was a year that showed how interconnected we are — the actions of one person, country, or nation can affect the lives and livelihoods of millions,” the governor’s post read.
Inslee said the Washington state Legislature passed bills to modernize and promote clean transit and transportation as well as clean buildings. He said the state also passed bills to protect salmon runs, promote clean manufacturing and clean energy. Inslee highlighted President Joe Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, saying it was the federal government’s most significant action taken on climate change. He noted it would put the country on pace to reduce greenhouse emissions by 40% by 2030.
“These long-sought measures, part of the single largest investment to address climate change in American history, should rightfully encourage both our state and the federal governments to take further necessary steps,” Inslee said.
Inslee said the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration determined that four lower Snake River dams need to be removed to save salmon and steelhead populations in September of 2022. Because of this, Inslee and Washington Sen. Patty Murray have started a federal process to determine how to replace the energy production, irrigation and transportation benefits of the dams.
The governor also touched on the United States Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade, making the legality of having an abortion an issue for states to decide. In the year in review, Insee said he and the governors of California and Oregon all committed to defend access to abortion and contraception. The governor approved $1 million to help reproductive clinics handle patients who come from out of state, while also directing the Washington State Patrol to not assist in any investigations by other states concerning abortion.
When it comes to housing, Inslee said in the past two years the state Legislature has scaled up housing and support services, which includes the new Rapid Capital Acquisition program that is being used to create over 4,400 supportive housing units by utilizing motels and apartment buildings as shelters.
“An estimated 1 million housing units must be built in the next 20 years to keep up with population growth,” the governor’s post read.
Because of the shortage, Inslee’s proposed budget set aside $4 billion to address affordable and supportive housing.
Another highlight in the review is Washington state’s alert system for missing Indigenous people, a first for the nation. From July to November, the system was activated 17 times and helped find 13 people.
Inslee touted the statewide high-capacity magazine ban in July and bills that banned untraceable firearms, known as “ghost guns.” He also celebrated the proposal of new legislation that would permit the purchase of firearms, ban assault weapons and hold gun manufacturers accountable for “irresponsible practices.”
Inslee also mentioned bills in the state Legislature that allowed for more nurses, counselors and social workers, saying the important new resources are needed for youth and children with complex needs. Washington state also launched its 988 crisis lifeline for people who experience behavioral health issues.
Inslee highlighted the end of the state of emergency for COVID-19 on Oct. 13.
The governor’s weekly newsletter can be subscribed to online at public.govdelivery.com/accounts/WAGOV/subscriber/new.
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