OLYMPIA (June 9, 2021)— Petty disputes at the statehouse often confine themselves to negotiating rooms or floor speeches, or perhaps a little low-key payback down the road.
But on Tuesday, the squabble between the Washington Legislature and Gov. Jay Inslee over his use of partial vetoes played out in far grander fashion: before the Washington Supreme Court.
In oral arguments, the justices heard the case known as Washington State Legislature vs. Jay Inslee. It’s a legal struggle that could tweak the balance of power between two of Washington’s separate branches of government.
The legal struggle has come to a head just weeks after the governor frustrated lawmakers with another controversial veto that could draw a legal challenge, when he signed into law the new clean-fuels legislation.
Washington’s constitution limits a governor’s veto authority to full bills, and sections of bills or appropriation items — spending — in those bills.
The case involved in Tuesday’s hearing stretches back to 2019, when Inslee signed a new, two-year statewide transportation budget — and vetoed lines inside sections of the bill.
Source: The Seattle-Times