House Republican Leader J.T. Wilcox encouraged by new Speaker’s promise to ‘listen’
The first day of the 2020 legislative session on Monday was marked with the election of a new Speaker of the House and a theme of inclusion. John Sattgast reports from the state Capitol.
SATTGAST: Many are calling it historic – the election of Washington State's first female House Speaker. During her opening speech, Democratic Representative Laurie Jinkins of Tacoma made this pledge. . .
JINKINS: “The title of my role might be Speaker, but as I view it, my primary job is to listen. I promise to listen to every one of you, even when we disagree.”
It's a promise House Republican Leader Representative J.T. Wilcox said is encouraging, given the fact that in the past minority Republicans have been shut out of key budget negotiations and gaveled during intense floor debates.
WILCOX: “And Madam Speaker, we're the minority. That means that we don't get to win a lot of things. Our number one job is to speak and debate. And we can help you do your job and you can help us do our job when you and all of your colleagues are the best possible listeners.”
Wilcox said House Republicans will introduce legislation on housing and childcare affordability, supporting law enforcement, lowering car tabs to 30-dollars, elimination of title-only bills – and offer other measures that keep Washington safe, affordable and accountable.
It's a lot to be accomplished in 60 days. But Wilcox is hopeful that with the Speaker's pledge of inclusion, both sides can find common ground to address the most pressing issues of Washington state.
John Sattgast, Olympia.
###Washington State House Republican Communications
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