Podcast | What’s left for Democrats to tackle in Olympia?

The party has used its legislative majorities year after year to check off a lot of its wish list. What now?

Four people in business attire sitting at a wooden desk in front of an American flag

Rep. Timm Ormsby, Sen. Lynda Wilson, Sen. Christine Rolfes and Rep. Drew Stokesbary at a Ways & Means Committee preview panel on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023 in the John A. Cherberg Building. (Amanda Snyder/ Crosscut)

When the Washington state legislative session started on Monday, January 9, Democrats were in the driver’s seat. The party currently controls both houses and the governorship, making it one of 16 states where Democrats have achieved a so-called state government trifecta.

It’s a familiar position for the party, which has held the trifecta since 2018. In that time, Democrats have crossed a number of items off their legislative wish list, including most recently the passage of a capital-gains tax, gun laws and a carbon cap-and-trade law.


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After picking up a couple seats in the November election, Democrats appear poised to do more, but they do face some barriers, including an uncertain economy and ongoing court challenges.

For this episode of the Crosscut Reports podcast, host Sara Bernard speaks with state politics reporter Joseph O’Sullivan about the remaining items on that wish list. Drawing on a near-decade of covering Olympia, O’Sullivan tracks the trends that will help shape the session and tells us what he expects from lawmakers, including actions on guns, housing and the state budget.

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