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0 comments | May 14, 2007 | 4:55 PM | posted by Ryan

Governor Gregoire had everything to gain and nothing to lose by vetoing the emergency clause in HB 2079. So why did she pass up the opportunity? Adam Wilson, over at The Olympian, asked and received this answer:

“Because they [the union] asked me specifically that it not be vetoed because they continue to take money in and this will relieve the cloud, with the emergency clause in place,” she said. “Rather than wait until some later date when from here ‘till there will be a cloud over what use they can make with the money.”

On its face, it sounds like the union wanted the emergency clause because it would be too inconvenient to treat agency fees collected now differently from those collected after July 22, 2007.

Keep in mind that she vetoed three emergency clauses the same day she signed HB 2079.

  • HB 2118 relating to installing mobile and manufactured homes. The governor said this about the emergency clause: "We believe that the desire to avoid potential inconvenience should not be treated as a public emergency warranting an emergency clause."
  • HB 1910 relating to tax incentives. The governor said, the emergency clause "is not essential to the bill’s proper and timely implementation."
  • HB 1811 relating to installing automatic sprinklers in nightclubs. Regarding the emergency clause, the governor said, "The bill contains an unnecessary emergency clause... Emergency clauses should be used sparingly and only when necessary."

So putting the pieces together, convenience for a state agency (L&I) is not an emergency, but convenience for a union (the WEA) is.

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