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Lawmakers debate tax, abortion, road safety measures in week 3: In Session

Here's a recap of what lawmakers debated this week in session.

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Bills that could change the rules of the road and guarantee abortion rights within the state’s constitution were highlighted in the third week of the 2022 legislative session. Here's a recap of what lawmakers debated this week in session.

On Tuesday, Gov. Jay Inslee testified in favor of a bill to amend the state's constitution to include abortion protections.

On Thursday, a group of bipartisan legislators presented several bills aimed at making roadways safer.

Proposals include prohibiting right turns on red lights in school zones or near parks, and requiring driver’s education courses for all drivers under the age of 25.

Legislators said they are motivated by recently released data showing traffic fatalities across the state at the highest level, 745, since 1990. 

Also on Thursday, state Supreme Court justices heard arguments on the legality of the state’s capital gains tax

In 2021 the state enacted a new tax on investment profits topping $250,000 to raise money for schools.

Critics have questioned the legality of the tax, they consider it an income tax, something prohibited by the state’s constitution. 

Attorneys for the state argued the tax is an excise tax, charged as the result of a voluntary transaction. 

Justices are expected to announce their ruling in the coming weeks.

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