Podcast | How bills on guns, housing and abortion passed in WA

Crosscut politics reporter Joseph O’Sullivan and Axios reporter Melissa Santos break down the biggest developments from the 2023 legislative session.

Man in the background and monitor with three speakers in the foreground

Crosscut politics reporter Joseph O'Sullivan discusses the Washington legislative session with Axios Seattle reporter Melissa Santos, center, and Crosscut Reports host Sara Bernard for a virtual session at the Crosscut Ideas Festival, May 4, 2023. (Amanda Snyder/Crosscut)

It was a busy legislative session in Olympia. By the time lawmakers adjourned on April 23, a slate of new bills affecting gun ownership, abortion, gender-affirming care and housing were on their way to Governor Inslee’s desk to become law.

Host Sara Bernard examines it all in this special episode of Crosscut Reports, recorded live during the virtual portion of the Crosscut Ideas Festival on May 4, 2023.

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Crosscut state politics reporter Joseph O’Sullivan and Melissa Santos, a reporter with Axios Seattle, joined Bernard to discuss these new laws, how the Democrats in the majority were able to pass them and the political and cultural impact they may have on the state and national level.

The guests also chatted about Gov. Jay Inslee’s recent announcement not to run for a fourth term and the Legislature’s last-minute failure to find a fix for the state’s temporary drug possession law – a failure that Gov. Jay Inslee sought to remedy by requesting a special legislative session to settle the matter.

For more from the Crosscut Ideas Festival, subscribe to the Crosscut Talks podcast and hear a new conversation from the Festival each Tuesday and Thursday for the next few months.

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