Ericksen: Inslee vetoes violate Legislature’s trust, show disrespect for working families

  • Inslee vetoes tax incentives for manufacturers, conversion of TransAlta plant
  • Undoes deal negotiated by Republicans and Democrats, betrays Legislature’s trust
  • Effort to override vetoes will be mounted

OLYMPIA – By vetoing tax incentives approved by the Legislature after extensive negotiations between Democrats and Republicans, Gov. Jay Inslee has violated the trust of the Legislature and the people of the state of Washington, says state Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale.

Inslee used his line-item veto Friday to cancel tax incentives for manufacturers and for conversion of the state’s only coal-fired plant to natural gas or biomass fuel. The tax incentives were contained in a tax bill, SB 5977, which passed both chambers June 30 by substantial margins.

The tax bill was part of the final agreement reached by House and Senate negotiators last week. By vetoing provisions agreed to at the bargaining table by the governor’s own party, Ericksen said the governor has betrayed the trust that is essential to the legislative process.

“The legislative process is based on trust,” said Ericksen, chair of the Senate Energy, Environment and Telecommunications Committee. “Today, Jay Inslee violated that trust by reneging on a deal that was worked out over the course of our regular legislative session and three special sessions.

“These vetoes demonstrate Jay Inslee has no respect for the working men and women of Washington state – the people these incentives were designed to benefit. At the same time, he has lost the respect of the Legislature. I am confident we will be able to override these vetoes because of the overwhelming support this bill received in the House and Senate.

“In the Legislature, we believe a deal is a deal. But when the governor vetoes an agreement reached by his own party, how can we trust that any compromise will be upheld? When you break trust, you don’t get it back, and Jay Inslee has lost the trust of the entire Legislature.”

Tax incentives vetoed by the governor Friday were:

  • Manufacturing tax incentives. The bill would have given all Washington manufacturers the same low business and occupations tax rate currently paid by Boeing and other manufacturers in the aerospace industry. The 40 percent rate reduction aimed to shore up non-aerospace manufacturing and settle a World Trade Organization complaint that Boeing was being given an unfair advantage over European manufacturers.
  • Coal plant conversion incentives. The bill would have provided exemptions from the state sales and use tax to encourage the conversion of the coal-fired TransAlta plant near Centralia to natural gas or biomass fuel.