A couple of weeks ago, Washington state’s Governor decided to punish members of the House and Senate for not passing an updated budget within a timely manner. In doing so, he vetoed 27 bills that were passed by both the House and the Senate – including one that would legalize the growing of industrial hemp plants in order for them to be studied.
“Your bills are gonna get vetoed if you don’t do your job and pass a budget.” Governor Inslee had warned them – and he wasn’t joking with them as they found out when he followed through with likely the largest batch of vetoes in state history, as he so lightly put it.
After the vetoes, the members of the House and Senate finally got together to pass their budget, which allocates funds to helping the homeless and mental health programs as well as addressing the shortage of teachers within the state. Luckily, this decision was made only halfway into the current 30 day session that was called almost immediately after the vetoes.
Then the two chambers of legislature have voted to overturn the Governor’s vetoes. This means that the bill to legalize the growth of industrial hemp has now officially been enacted into law. The passage of this bill is going to be extremely beneficial to their state as well as others who might be considering a similar move.
The last time that a bill was vetoed and then overridden by legislature in Washington was in 1998, and the bill was to legalize same sex marriage. This time, there will likely be 26 other bills quickly following after the passage of the industrial hemp bill – and the good news is that Governor Inslee doesn’t seem to have a problem with the overrides now that the budget has been decided on.
While it’s unfortunate that the Governor decided to use tactics like that to encourage lawmakers to decide on a budget, at least they did end up doing so in the end, while also being able to implement the laws they wanted to see passed in spite of the childish vetoes.