Leave it to Inslee to kill jobs with veto but praise trail project as ‘economic development,’ says Rossi

45th District senator says governor’s visit today smacks of classic D.C.-style politics

OLYMPIA… Sen. Dino Rossi says this morning’s visit by Gov. Jay Inslee to talk about a local project to connect trails for bicyclists and pedestrians was more an example of Inslee playing the sort of partisan politics he learned during many years in Washington, D.C.

“The Willows Road Regional Trail Connection is a worthwhile project, and I’m the person who made sure it got onto the list to be funded by the capital budget that is pending approval in Olympia. There was no need for the governor to come into our legislative district to talk about a project that hasn’t involved him whatsoever.

“His press event this morning was really about taking another shot at our Senate majority, because we’re holding him accountable for the disrespect he and his political allies seem to have for rural King County and rural areas across the state. That’s got to sting after a while, and now we’re seeing him lash out in a very targeted way,” said Rossi, R-Sammamish.

He pointed to the governor’s killing of thousands of potential rural jobs with his July 7 veto of legislation Rossi sponsored to lower the business-tax rate for manufacturers statewide, and Inslee’s lack of leadership on negotiating a permanent solution to the water-access restrictions created by the state Supreme Court’s 2016 decision in the Hirst case.

“It’s disingenuous for the governor to hold this trail project up as an example of ‘economic development’ just a few weeks after he stabbed workers in the back with his ill-conceived veto of the best rural-Washington job-creation strategy the Legislature has approved in years. And that style he picked up in D.C. really comes out when he talks about access to recreation, when rural families across our state can’t get access to water because of the Hirst ruling,” said Rossi.

The Senate has approved a policy solution for the Hirst situation four times in 2017, with consistent votes from both sides of the political aisle, while the House of Representatives has yet to vote on any proposed remedy. To prevent the delay of a Hirst fix, and head off further damage to local economies, Rossi and his Senate-majority colleagues are insisting that Inslee sign a proper Hirst solution before they will vote to pass the new capital budget for 2017-19.

“Inslee has continued to put politics ahead of people, and now that he’s being called on it, he acts like the congressman he used to be instead of the governor he’s supposed to be,” Rossi said. “I have to believe his real reason for coming to the 45th District today isn’t lost on the people I am privileged to represent for the rest of this year.”