In his 2022 year in review, Washington Governor Jay Inslee touted the state’s actions regarding green energy, environmental protections, the securing of abortion rights, solving the housing crisis, preventing gun violence and many other items.
The review was published on Inslee’s Medium page on Dec. 30, touching on how 2022 had another deadly surge of COVID-19 activity, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the overturning of Roe v. Wade and the Jan. 6 commission 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 modernizing and promoting 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 and that it would put the country on pace to reduce greenhouse emissions by 40 percent 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 that 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 those dam’s energy production, irrigation and transportation benefits.
The governor also touched on the United States Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade and making the legality of having an abortion an issue for states to decide. In the year in review, Insee said he and governors of California and Oregon all committed to defend access to abortion and contraception. The governor approved $1 million to help reproductive clinics handling patients coming from out of state, while also directing the Washington State Patrol to not assist any investigations by other states concerning abortion.
When it comes to housing, Inslee said that in the past two years the state Legislature has scaled up housing and support services, including 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 one million housing units must be built in the next twenty years to keep up with population growth,” the governor’s post read.
Because of the shortage, Inslee’s proposed budget has $4 billion set aside to address affordable and supportive housing.
Another highlight in the review was Washington state’s alert system for missing Indigenous people, a first for the entire nation. From July to November, the system was activated 17 times and helped in finding 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 cause gun manufacturers accountable for “irresponsible practices.”
State Legislature bills that allowed for more nurses counselors and social workers was talked about by Inslee, saying they are important new resources for youth and children with complex needs. Washington state also launched its 988 crisis lifeline for people experiencing behavioral health issues.
Inslee also pointed to ending the state of emergency for COVID-19 on Oct. 13.
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