speaker laurie jinkins

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

As Washington Gov. Jay Inslee exerts his emergency powers to battle COVID-19, behind the scenes legislative leaders are exploring the idea of a special session of the Legislature, perhaps as early as next month. 

“We are very much deeply in the weeds on trying to figure that out and I think in the next week or two we should have some more clarity,” said Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig, a Spokane Democrat.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Despite a push by Gov. Jay Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson, a ban on so-called “assault weapons” appears unlikely to pass the Washington Legislature this year.

“Just so you know, it’s not just this simple ‘hey ban assault weapons,'" Speaker of the House Laurie Jinkins, a Democrat, said during a media availability with reporters on Tuesday. 

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Accused in a House investigation of participating in an act of domestic terrorism, Washington state Rep. Matt Shea of Spokane Valley defiantly returned to the Capitol on Monday -- spurning calls for him to resign -- and declared: "I'm not going to quit, I'm not going to back down."

WSDOT - tinyurl.com/yddspl8b

When Washington lawmakers convene a short, election year session on Monday, they’ll confront a range of issues from homelessness to gun control to whether to expel state Rep. Matt Shea.

But first, the 60 day session will begin with a historic vote and swearing-in ceremony of Democratic state Rep. Laurie Jinkins. She will become the state’s first woman speaker of the House and only the second openly lesbian House speaker in the nation after Oregon’s Tina Kotek.