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tv   Politico Discussion with Governors Hogan Polis Inslee  CSPAN  March 16, 2021 12:28pm-2:02pm EDT

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on the free c-span radio app. >> you're watching c-span3. your unfiltered view of government. c-span3 was created by cable television companies. coming up, conversations with the maryland governor larry hogan, colorado governor, and washington state governor. from politico, this is 90 minutes. >> good afternoon. we're back for the afternoon session of the 50 america's governors. i'm joined by maryland governor larry hogan. thank you, governor, hogan for being with us today. >> thanks very much for having me. it's good to be with you. >> we have plenty to dig into.
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maryland businesses reopening to full capacity. the status of children returning to schools. vaccine distribution and not to mention your thoughts on the future of the republican party. but before we get going, a reminder to those tuning into the live stream that you can follow the conversation on twitter using the #the50governors. >> let's start with covid, governor. just this week you ordered restaurants and other businesses reopen to full capacity and larger venues at 50 %. what metrics are you seeing that makes you comfortable making this move now? >> well, so all of our -- we've been from the very beginning of this covid crisis, we've been really taking a look at all of the public health guidance. we've convened some of the smartest doctors in the world to advise us and also we've worked with the business community on safe and effective reopening plans, but the reason why we're
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taking some steps this week first, we unlike some other states, kept masking and distancing in place, but raised some capacity limits on most businesses. as long as they could comply with the other safety measures, and it was because our -- we were in a great spot. we're doing much better than most of the rest of the country. our positivity rate is down around 3%. our case rate is way down. hospitalizations are down. deaths are down. we have no counties in the red zone as the federal government defines it. our faces per 100,000 is down in every single health metric we're down dramatically and have been heading in that direction now for a couple months. and so we were -- we've all along tried to balance how do we weep people safe and how do we follow the h science but also en balancingd that economic recovec and the health of putting peoplo back to work and helping some o. our small businesses survive. >> so there is an aspect of this
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order that's just bringing on t some confusion and questions ana that is that you've ordered that local jurisdictions cannot maket rules that are more restrict i than the state. why shouldn't they have that freedom. >> that's not what the order does. opposite. our state law does grant the ovm local governmentsen the abilityo be more torestrictive and many i them and will continue to do so. our order early on in the pandemic, we specifically nments granted additional powers to the counties that they didn't w normally have, andil this time didn't feel it was necessary, but all of our local jurisdictions can't be less restrictive. they have to follow the state health directives.
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>> when do you think it will feel normal again for maryland?k >> it's a hard question. you know, just a week ago friday.irst we talked act the 7 marylanders. we've come a long way. t it's been more than a year we've gone through this and we've got a ways to go before we get back to normal. i think people are hopeful with, the wit+++ç6j other places, proving that there is hope on the horizon, that we do see a brighter future, but i don't think anybody should be under the false impression that we are going to be able to get back to normal right away. i know the president is promising by the end of may to have enough vaccine. that's hopeful.
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that's a couple more months to go through this. we are ramping up as other governments are, but i think we are going to have to continue to be safe and take steps and where maskin to continue to be safe and take steps and wear masking and do the distancing and listen to the public health advice with the variants that are out there, it's still not a time to declare mission accomplished or to say let's just return to the way we were before. >> so this is probably a difficult question to answer, but is there some projection on herd immunity in maryland in. >> well, that's a great day, question. so we now have -- we're now as n ofof today, we've done 1,750,00e vaccines. we've done about 65% of the eligible population. we've done nearly 99% of all the vaccines we've been provided by the federal government. we're up to 50,000 a day which is a pretty good pace. we can do almost twice that many when we get those vaccines. sayn
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there's some -- our experts are saying we don't know exactly w when we're going to reach herd immunity. take into effect the people who already have the antibodies because they had covid. including hundreds of thousands who maybe had the virus but we r don't know about it. and all the people that we get n the vaccine to as we move through otheryo phases and peop less vulnerable as we move downe to younger and younger people e and people that are not those frontline workers. but it's going to take a while. if we get all the vaccines that the federal government is promising us by the end of may, hopefully we can be well on ou'' way this summer to -- it won't e be stamped. out completely, but it will be -- we'll be in a much safer place. >> so i understand that you hadt a recent governor's call with president biden this week. is that right?onavir >> well, we had a call with the coronavirus task force which iss headed up by jeff ziontz out ofc
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the white house.ine the general in charge of vaccinn distributions, the president wasn't on the call, but it was most of the nation's governorso were on the call with most of re thespon leaders of the federal response. >> awa what was the main take as that you walked out with this week? >> i guess the take away is there's good news and bad news. the good news is that we're hearing positive things about starting at the end of march, moving into april and may, that the vaccine distribution is buth going to increase considerably. they also told us disappointinga news this week,st t thathe we w not get any additional allocations for the next week, possibly the next two weeks. we were hoping -- they made some steady progress and now it's a little bit flat while they catch up. i think they pushed out all they j&j vaccines they had.on' now they have to restock before
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they get us more. we don't have any of those for two weeks and we used every one of them. in we're number one in america on injecting those vaccines. but -- and they are going to ramp up the production of both j&j and pfizer and moderna later. i think april' is going to be a much different situation. a couplele moreslow s weeks whe going to be slow slog. that was the main take away, i think. >> so, i mean, i was going to get to schools later. given that there is -- it sounds like a little bit of a disappointment with providing the vaccine supply, does that effect your ability to get schools open because so many teachers want to be vaccinated first? >> so we are one of the first te states in the countryrs to prioritize teachers, and we've been vaccinating them since witt january.nk so the federal government came b out with that advice i think a week ago. don' but we were months ahead of that. i don't know the exact number ao of today. i heard yesterday one of our ted
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large school systems had already vaccinated 78 % of the teachers. our schools have been authorized to be back in school since august. about half of our jurisdictions have the others alltric been. starte back beginning march 1st.have t and i think as of now we only have two of our local jurisdictions that are not yet h at least don't have some kids back in school in a hybrid way, and i think they're going to beh back in the next couple weeks. but we're doing everything we can to get those teachers vaccinated. >> you talked about federal guidelines and you were ahead of that. do you think the federal government can do more right now to provide guidance to states like yours? >> you know, i think really the main issue that we have and this is -- i'm not -- this is not to be critical of the administration. i think they really are -- everybody is working as hard as they can. but this is a problem that we tt have at the federal, state, and
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local level. there are not enough vaccines. so we've built a massive infrastructure all across the ri state. we have more than 2400 distribution points and mass bt vaccination sites. we're pushing them out as soon as we get them. we're putting them in someone'se arms. but the big problem is even though we've done 1,750,000, there are millions more who can't get them because they don't exist yet. people are frustrated across the country. i think we're are 13th as far ag administration of the vaccines but we're not number one, and there are millions of people who can't get one yet. can when they say why can't i get an appointment for a vaccine, it's. because we don't have a vaccine to give you an appointment for. that's the main problem every gn governor and every county executive, every mayor is having. and imayolem. thinknki push the government understands that. we pushed for, i pushed for the use of the defense production act to get some of the other
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pharmaceutical companies who did not have winning approved tart m vaccines like merck to get theme to start manufacturing vaccines for the other companies, and tha biden administration did recently implement that which means another 100 million j&j rd vaccines can be produced by a competing company. that's terrific.auth novavax is the next one that i think is going to receive the authorization from the fda. itpefully we're a month away from that happening. that will be another supply. it's really all about more vaccines. i believe that -- i know in our state and other governors, if iw the federal governmente and th manufacturers can get us the >> vaccines, we can get everybody vaccinated. >> and you mentioned a couple times you feelel like this administration has been of responsive and you were critical in the past of the trump ike administration. i am curious, do you feel like there is a little more nistra communication now or how wouldte you compare theks biden
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administration so far given it's six weeks in or so to how trump -- >> sure.ciatio well, i led the national u governor's association through a big portion of this crisis until august. and led all the nation's governors on 54 calls. many of them with the presidente own/or vice president on at least a weekly basis. sometimes more than once a weeky mostly the vice president was running the coronavirus task rc. force, and even though i was rly critical, especially early on in the process about there weren't enough tests.h there wasn't enough ppe. we didn't have ventilators, and i wasas representing all the governors and sometimes strongly saying what we thought we needed from the federal government, i also did compliment them in the general and the vice president in particular on the communication with the governors. the very first -- as soon as this hit q we had all the leaders in the federal government, dr. redfield and dri faucional and dr. collins come
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address the governors in february of last year at the national governor's association conference in washington.e vicep i was in the situation room cal multiple times sitting next to the vice president with all the other governors on the calls. te we talked to him weekly.lected i was very pleased d when the tv biden eradministration, when thc were firstommi elected during t transition, they reached out toe the governors. we've had a couple of those with the president and vice president. neither one of them has been ba participating in the weekly calls like we did in the last e, administration, but all to have leadership in their administration has been and they've been veryy productive. very good communications. and so far we're pleased. it really is -- we've got to take the politics out of this ar lirus. it really is everybody. we're all in this together and trying to save people's lives. >> okay. great. you also mentioned recently you mentioned the mask mandate.entid and you are keeping it in
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maryland for now. correct? >> yes. >> what do you think states like texas and mississippi who have made the decisions to lift the mask mandate at this point? >> well, obviously they have the right to do that. and that's from the beginning, r the states have had to make allr of these decisions independently from the beginning of this crisis, and different governorse andnt different states made different decisions every day. we made hundreds of different decisions for more than a year t now. and in my estimation, it was not the right thing for our state. i can't speak for what the othes governors did. i just know that everything we a know from all of the science isl that there's no -- nothing -- sg there's not a better single mitigation strategy than masking and i mean, where that alone can really stop this huge portion oi this viergs from transmitting, and to think otherwise, i thinkn is a mistake.
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i mean, there were certain d i states that want to keep all their businesses shut down. i don't agree with those decisions. there are other states that say no masks and we should do et whatever we want. we tried to find that balanced u position thatt tried to get people back to work, that tried to worry about the small business owners and how do we keep them and help them survive? we provided tremendous relief as the state and federal level. but also, how do we keep some mitigation steps in place that can keep people safe? because as we started off at the beginning of the conversation, this is not behind us. and there's some really scary variants out there.e us and you know, the vaccines aren't quite here yet, and it's going to take us many months before we get enough people vaccinated. sowith i just think cautious an down the middle, it's the way we've done itne from the beginning. we've tried to and find that ri balance, and so far i think we have. iistake mean, we made mistakes b and althere, but i think a balanced approach is the right way to go.
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>> so as you know, congress just passed this $1.9 trillion covidu relief package.his not one republican got on board. would you have voted for this package? >> i don't think i would and i'll tell you, so i was leading the fight for the previous stimulus package and very upset that when i was nga chair and very -- pushed in every direction, talked to every leader of congress on both sides of the aisle and both houses. repeatedly talked to the president, the vice president, secretary mnuchin.eks ago, eight months we didn't get a package done. two weeks ago i was in the oval office with bothha the presiden and vice president for an hour a and a half. i repeatedly pled with them to try to work on a compromised bill that we could get republicans on board.ief to i said, we do need help. there really are people struggling that we've got to get relief to.s who there is a need for some aid tot
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state and local governments on the frontlines of this crisis, g but theue abo $1.9 trillion thay loaded in other priorities that we could argue about, whether rs they make sense or not, but thee didn't have anything to do with emergency virus relief. >> is that -- >> so i said to the president, c at least fiveal times in that white house meeting that i thought it was critically t important that he get a bill that he could get republican support on or it was going to set a really bad precedent for the rest of this term for the next four years.this, and that if we can't get something done on this, that do everybody agrees we need to do f something on, your next priority of infrastructure which i led aa national initiative on, i'd really like to get a bipartisans infrastructure bill done.atic w but if you're just going to craa things through with every democratic wish list with not a single republican vote, you know, it's going to be really hard to get anhey agenda. they're tight majorities. the c there are one or two democratic
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senators that can stop everything from happening.ogan pr what would you have: taken t of the covid bill? >> i mean, there's probably e about a trillion dollars that l. should be taken out. the republicans were at 400 million. they're at 2ion. ojrtrillion. cn i think there was widespread you could find consensus on about ' trillion dollars' worth and geo rid of about $900 million worth of stuff that didn't have to do with covid. >> pensions? >> pensions and they were tryinh to push through the $15 minimumg wage. that's a great issue to did debo about in congress, but it didn't have anything to do with this bill. there's a whole list of transportation projects in california. i mean, it was reallyof loaded like a christmas tree with all i kinds of extra goodies. which we can debate all the bu arguments about whether they're meritorious or not, but they b should notill have been in whae could have been a compromised bill in the middle of a state of emergency in the worst pandemic we've had in our lifetime.
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>> so nonetheless, this package has been getting very high public opinion marks. there are a lot of people who have said they're in need. do you still see there's going to be benefits to maryland residents? >> no question. i pushed for 8 1/2 months to get a stimulus bill through. i just thought it should have f been bipartisan. i agree we needed a stimulus th bill and wasmo pushing for one. i think most americans felt like there were all kinds of things we needed help on.erican i also don't think probably less than 5% of americans know what's in this $1.9 trillion bill. most people haven't read the yo bill andpr don't have any idea t like you probably do because you are covering these issues.n' but the average person just goep yes, we need help, but they don't know all the projects in'' this bill. i was all for relief.there i'm glad they passed relief. there's some very important f o things in there that arest goiny to help our state and the citizens of our state. i just think they got a little h
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overambitious and put things in there that are wasteful. >> okay. i'll take just one quick momente ma ask a couple audience questions that were specifically targeted to maryland. one of them is how has the covid-19 pandemic affected progress in fighting climate change? and how states leverage the i opportunity to rebuild the pandemic in a wayous that is climate conscious and e sustainable? that's a big one. >> i think that -- actually, there's kind of an added benefit to climate change in that for a long time we had almost nobody . on the road. we weren't contributing to climate change quite as much, ii but i think there are some opportunities as we were -- i just talking about -- talking ac with the president and vice president about a compromised is bill on trinfrastructure, which think rebuilding america's infrastructure can include some things like addressing issues related to the effects of ile it climate change and -- on
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resiliency and -- so i think while it's not as directly related to what -- there may d sove been -- covid was a terrible thing weme didn't wanto have happen, but some climate change concerns were mitigated for about a year. we had 10% traffic on some of our roads and people weren't w doing a lot ofer things they us to do. they were staying home. but i think as we come out of it and we talk about rebuilding jua america's infrastructure, we ought to talk not just about roads and bridges and highways,m but about how to build more resilient projects to look at the effects of climate change. maryland has cleaner air standards than 49 other states and twice as strong as theim pas accord. climate change is ak it i big important thing for us in the state. on think it's one of the things that can help us maybe put some people to work with me greenth technologies and projece as we're looking too some of these things, and rebuilding the economy at the same time. >> okay. great.
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i did want to circle back on something else you mentioned rai when you were in the oval office, you said you brought up several times to president bides that you wanted bipartisan. what was his response to that? >> you know, he was very receptive. i d io, think he really means that. so ian said to him, and i wrotee op ed in the wall street journao right after he was elected the things lly like he had to say about regardless of whether youto voted for him not, blue states and red states, he wanted to be a president for all americans.eally b ipartisanh people across the aisle, and then i was at his inaugural, and i said to him, i really appreciated his message about reaching across the aisle, and now i'm hoping he can put those words into action. he and now i'm hoping you can put e those words into action. and he said, look, i agree with heu, we're neighbors, here in maryland, and delaware. w i've known him, we have a good relationship. he said, i do want to work with
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republicans and i dosu want to work in a bipartisan way, but w i'm not sure that folks in tion congress felt exactly that way e or everyone in his staff or in his administration. we i think he actually very passionately does agree with that concept of we really ought to find a way to come together.y but i think we missed as you inr know, opportunity to do asthat. and hopefully maybe on the next big effort on infrastructure, we can try to do wit h that, he sa absolutely, he wants to try to work with me and work with republicans and find some ways to reach common ground.ickly. >> okay. time is going very quickly so i. do want to turn to national politics. we can just jump right in. should donald trump be part of the future of the republican party? >> yaurn my opinion is that he probably shouldn't. he is going to be, no question about it.and he's not going away quietly. and i think that's bad for the y republican party. i may be on the minority on that
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view. but i'vety been pretty outspokef about it. the republican party has gottene away from its traditional values while w and its roots. in wi i think, you know, the district president, no question, you know, while we did okay in d hed winning a some purple districtst congress and suburban districts and held it close, the majority until the house, it was a pretty bad time in the house. we lost the presidency, we lostr the senate, we lost the house, governors, and we lost legislative bodies. the four years was a bad time for republicans by any estimation. it wasn't a total rejection of republican values or a total the acceptance of progressive democratic values. i think it was a rejection of donald trump. and the longer he stays involvea andcy the all of this, you known conspiracy theories and, you know, this vitriol and anger anu
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frustration and attacking republicans andparty, primaryin, it's not a road to success for d my party. that and, you know, i'm a republican elected in the bluest state in america, twice, by being just the oppositee of that and by winning over large numbers of black voters and suburban women and independents and democrats, twice in a state that donald trump lost by 30 points two times, i won by so i think i have something to add toca the conversation aboutt how can republicans have a winning message and how can you winning more people over to our side of the argument. and i really think, you know, ad successfulul politics is about n addition and multiplication. it's not about subtraction and division. and ifour you want toid govern you want your ideas to prevail, to convince a majority of people that you havf the right ideas. the republican party isn't doing that. we're getting rid of people and turning people off almost as fast as we can.
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so my opinion is that the partym should return to a more traditional republican party, more to its roots, more to, as i ronald reagan said, a bigger tent republican partyty and awa from kind of the cult of donald trump.ouring in >> so given some of your background, as you just said, fr winning in a blue state and trying to find compromise, woul, you think about running for abt president? >> i think it's far too early tr talk about that.e it's four years from now. right now we're still in a stats of emergency.viru my reals focus is on getting ts virus behind us, getting millions of people there's plenty ofg time to tal about politics. and i don't know what my futureo is going to be. i don't know if i have a future in the republican party. but i care about a future for the republican party, i'm a bigm i'liever in the two-party system and competition of ideas. i'm not going to go away. i mean, i'm going to continue to speak out, even if it seems like there aren't very many people,
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you know, speaking out with me, i think it's really important for the and for my party. so i'm going to stay involved and keep saying what i think. wn >> so we just have a couple of minutes left, but i did want tor close out with a very compelline story that you've told in the past but i think perhaps our ly audience has not seen it. and could you kind of walk us through, as will be as you can, the january 6 insurrection, where were you, what were you doing at the time?? and kind of go through, you know, we only have a few minutes -- >> i was sitting right here, in this seat, in this room, on a zoom like i am with you. the japanese ambassador to the united states when my chief ofwa staff came i whispered in my ear that the cuy capitol was under t attack.t fie i excused myself from the call. i called my security team in, within the next five minutes, with ourur adjutant general of e national guard, state police, homeland security, we were in communication with the mayor of
12:56 pm i was asking the guard how fastg we could get people ready, how many state police officers we could send. while that was going on, i got a call from majority leader stenyd hoyer who was somewhat panicked telling me he had been whisked away to an undisclosed locationo he was with speaker pelosi and t leader schumer.ol he was calling me to say, hey, you know, the capitol is under attack, the capitol police have been overrun, please help us. and i said, you know, steny, i a have nd250 riot-trained marylana state police on the way,rd i've already activated the national guard, they're preparing to d deploy, but i can't send them without the authorization from the department of defense. and he was saying, schumer says you have authorization. and i said, we don't have the authorization, they told us multiple times we don't have authorization. so it was aurs la panicked kinda situation. two hours later, i got the to mov
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secretary of the army calling me to give the authorization.t we were alreadynati mobilized, o to move into the city. we were the first national guari to arrivece other than the d.c.g national guard.h ourthe state police were the f totobut arrive along with the metropolitan police department to back up police. it was a whirlwind, it went from being a discussion like i'm having with you to, you know, major decisions and calling up a thousand members of our national guard and 250 police officers s and sending themav down to save the members of congress and to t help with the vice president as thehe capitol was under attack. >> it sounds like there was a lot of confusion there. do you think -- what do you think about the security level at the capitol now?behi >> theynd seem to have taken a s of steps. hopefully we've put that behind us.fact there's no question that the mistakes were made in leading up to this, the fact that there were often a lot of signs that there was going to be a threat t and nobody seemed to be prepared.
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it should not have come to the point that we as a next door mer neighbor to washington had to send in 250 police and a thousand members of the guard after the fact. we got there fast, but it would. have been much better if they had been prepared to stop it int the first place with the capitol police and the d.c. police and the d.c. national guard. i can't answer for that, i can s only say we mobilized to help. >> thank you so much, governor, great having you. >> thank you very much, natasha, i enjoyed it. >> great. let's turn it over now to politico's sustainability reporter catherine boudreaux, >> joined by colorado governor whe jared polis. >> thank you, hi, everyone, i
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co-author our weekly newslettern "the long game" where we tackle climate change, corporate responsibility, and also inequality. i'm excited to have colorado governor jared polis here today. thank you so much for dealing here, governor. >> good to see you, catherine. >> we have a lot to talk about today, the climate agenda, how the vaccine rollout is going in colorado. there's a newly passed paid e, family and medical leave program in your state, i want to talk about that a little bubit.t firs first i want to remind everyonee that you can followr. the we ca conversation on twittern using the hashtag #the50governors. governor polis, i want to start with some of the recent news out of your administration which is that you have a $750 million stimulus package that you recently unveiled, i think it was wednesday. can you tell me a little bit about how you came up with the funding for this, given that a
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lot of other states are staring down some potential budget shortfalls? >> like hopefully some other states, i know some states probably better than others, wel made major cuts for this last year because we knew there would be a global recession from the pandemic. fortunately the recession wasn't as bad as those projections. and so we caught about a billion and a half more than we needed u to. it was atise good thing to do at precaution because, you know, we have to balance our budget, it a would have been disastrous if wa had cut too little.forth. because we really cut a significant amount, we have a tt one-time budget carry-forward.uc itture allows us to be stimulat building roads and infrastructure, putting coloradoans to work in building
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improvements of lasting value to our state.ll be >> i understand that the big focus will be shovel-ready infrastructure e projects.ow for can you talk about what type of projects these are and why you think that's a big priority right now for your state? >> we have a great state park system as an example, in addition to having several national parks like rocky a mountain national lspark, we al have over 40 state parks. we're adding campgrounds, adding parking, doing trail improvements. we opened a brand-new state mark in southern colorado near the new mexico border, our second tu largest state park.r we're making improvements to the eisenhower tunnel that you take to the ski country from the ghw denver area, we're making improvements that will reduce traffic along the highway 70 corridor along with other things necessary improvements. so really, projects that are ready to go. we're ready to put coloradoans to work. a lot of these things were already on the books, we would have done them in five years or
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seven years, we were able to accelerate that and fund them now because of the prudent worku of our state legislature. >> what timeline are you looking at in terms of getting this out? is this something that state gon lawmakers have to signor off on? >> yes, so this is sort of an a ongoing part of bipar our stimu. we had a bipartisan special togh session laster december where w pulled people together and we passed a one-time payment to coloradoans who experienced llin unemployment, tax cuts, small businesses and restaurants.llioa it was about a $300 million package. this is about a $700 million package. it will be deployed over the fb next couple of months, everything on there, the criteria for being on the stimulus, ideally it's spent down in a 12-month period, the maximum 18 months we're looking at.t on it's an t amplifier, a sort of greater impact on the economy and jobs.
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>> so will any of the funds be i spents on maybe a climate go resilient infrastructure, in any way advancing your climate or agenda? $4absolutely, there's 30 or 40 c million there for a clean energy fund to reduce the cost of solar improvements in the transportation cle, there's electronic vehicle charging stations and a part of that infrastructure package. a facilityentsoso have we're funding with the few million dollars that helps local governments convert more rapidly to renewable energy.>> i wan there's a number of renewable energy components.ittle your cl. earlier this year, you >> earlier this year you released a final roadmap to slashing emissions by 90% in the coming decades. i believe that compared to 2005 levels. and a key priority would be addressing the oil and gas sector. i think transportation as well. so can you talk about the --
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what your administration will be doing immediately, like this year, to advance that, and that maybe what are some longer term priorities? >> so first of all, you know, the utilities sector, one of the largest emission sectors. we now have over 99% of the utility production in colorado, all the major investor-owned utilities, major municipal utilities, close to 100% of our providers are locked in or in the process of being locked in to 80% renewable energy in 2030. 80% renewable by 2030. the goal i ran on, and i believe it's more achievable now than ever before, is 100% by 2040, so that gives ten years to work on that final 20%. along with that comes increased opportunities for additional electrification of the vehicle fleet, for home heating, for a wide variety of purposes. they're doing work on beneficial
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electrification as well. once you look at utilities, another big sector is transportation. so we have adopted zero emission vehicle standards, 5% of the vehicles sold in our state will be zero emission in four years from now, just over 2%. we're building out the charging infrastructure and we're building out -- working with our public utilities commission and utilities refund mechanisms for ways to make electric vehicles even more affordable. >> certainly reducing emissions for millions of vehicles seems like a tall order. your goal, 2% right now, looking to do 5%. i mean, getting to 100% seems like a huge lift. what do you think it will take to get there, what type of programs are you ruling out? >> i think it steadily grows over time for a number of reasons. electric vehicles have significantly lower operating costs at scale, comparable costs
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will also be lower. lower maintenance costs, quieter, cleaner air. so it's happening in colorado, along with a few other states, we're in a leadership role with that. you hear of major companies like gm announcing their phasing out their gasoline vehicles by 2035. we want to be ahead of this trend. colorado is an innovative state. >> infrastructure, do you see charging infrastructure as one of the main barriers to wide adoption? >> that's one. i think we need more models and choices for sure, especially at the entry level, lower cost levels. that's all happening. so it's about, you know, number of models, designs, different use cases. 4x4s, coloradoans like to go to the mountains, they want to have the kind of sport utility
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vehicle experience. that's available in electric, coming soon. by meeting all those use cases that coloradoans have for our vehicles. >> it will certainly be a culture shift, maybe, for your residents, unless they come out with like the trucks and -- >> that's all happening, as i said. so i think one company is entering the market with a sports utility vick, 4x4, next year or two, electric. we have a wide variety. the more choices we have, the better. that's one of the reasons we implemented the electric vehicle standards. i don't have the numbers in front of me, 12 models offered to over 30. >> just in terms of switching the energy source, there's a lot of communities in colorado that rely on fossil fuels for their tax revenue, for jobs. how do you plan to help the workers that might lose their job or the towns that might lose
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their tax base as a result of this transition? >> yeah, we -- you know, coal power is simply not cost competitive with wind and solar and other forms of energy like hydro. what we've seen is a lot of our utility providers moving up those retirement dates. to get to that level by 2030, a state effort called the just transition to partner with communities that are impacted with coal closures to help make sure there's job opportunities for the people, as well as a path forward for the community that relies on those revenues from legacy, high-cost fuels. >> so that involves a subsidy too to maybe some of the workers? like what's the actual assistance look like? >> it's about economic development, it's about how do
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we get a marquee employer in town. it's also about negotiations with utilities, for instance our largest utility itself, they've negotiated zero layoffs as they close and phase out their coal plants. that means some of them will be retiring anyway by '28, the others will have a job guaranteed for all of them. we want to make sure we take care of those who put their sweat equity and hard work into keeping colorado's lights on for decades. >> you mentioned a just transition, that's certainly a centerpiece of president joe biden's climate agenda. i think that your plan has come under some criticism for maybe not putting enough focus on environmental justice communities. i'm hoping you can respond to that and what exactly you plan to do to prioritize those front line communities. >> first of all, we love to have federal assistance. everything we've been planning for has assumed that the federal government would not be helping
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with our just transition here in colorado or across the country. i absolutely embrace with welcome arms and look forward to any federal assistance in that regard, and absolutely that will help states like colorado plug any of those holes that exist. we're going to do what we can, including for environmental justice at a state level. but of course i'm excited that we might have an enthusiastic federal partner to make sure we can address those inequities. >> i'm going to shift away from the climate conversation, because i do want to ask you about a situation involving a fellow democratic governor, andrew cuomo of new york. he at this point has been accused by six women of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior. and he's apologized for comments in the workplace, but he's denied that he's touched anyone inappropriately. what do you think of the situation? do you think that governor cuomo should resign? >> well, look, any victim
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deserves to be heard, of course. we should applaud those who are courageously coming forward. i have not been following this closely, obviously i've been focused on the pandemic and the economic development of colorado. i've seen the headlines just like everybody else has, but i haven't really dived into the issues at hand. i hope there's investigations to get to the truth of the matter. >> and i also too want to ask you about, before you were a governor, you served in the house of representatives for a decade, if i'm not mistaken. i just wonder what it was like, as a former member of congress, to be watching the events unfold on january 6, the insurrection at the capitol. >> it was just absolutely horrific. it almost took a few days to even register, just seeing the visual, the speaker's lobby,
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that's where the gunfire was heard, steps away from the floor. this is where i would go to vote every day, two or three times, walking right through those very doors. to see them barricaded and see the floor barricaded and to see my friends and colleagues cowering in fear, not knowing whether they would make it, it was very personal to me. and i think it was personal to every american, to see this symbol of our democracy, this institution of our republic, coming under this kind of attack. >> and a number of coloradoans have been arrested for participating in the violence. are you concerned about the rise of white supremacy in colorado at all? >> well, i think it's an item of national concern. certainly there's folks in all 50 states that have a lack of respect for our republic and our constitution and believe that violence is an appropriate way
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to change. i think there's a strong consensus that it's not, hopefully on both sides of the aisle. violence is not acceptable. we cherish free speech, right? people protesting with signs and marching, it's a wonderful thing to see, no matter what their perspective is, whether you agree with them or not. but when it crosses over into violence, threats to take people hostage, invasions of public property, then it's in fact a violent act and people need to be held fully accountable. >> mm-hmm. are there any steps that colorado is taking maybe to address this? >> well, you know, it's a statewide and national dialogue. it's a time of healing. certainly as governor, i look to president biden to really make sure that everybody feels included. we call it colorado for all. it means no matter where you live or what your background is or what your race is or what
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your job is, whether you live in rural northwestern colorado or in the middle of denver or one of the suburbs, you're all part of colorado's future. we try to send that inclusive note to make sure everybody knows they're a part of our great state. >> let's turn it to how colorado has been responding to the pandemic. and when you expect things to get back to, quote unquote, normal, whatever that means. certainly it's going to look a lot different than it did before the pandemic. so similar to the rest of the country, new cases in colorado really spiked on the holidays but they've since been falling to i think around a thousand cases a day, more than 6,000 coloradoans have died as a result of the virus. so, you know, how is the vaccine rollout going? i understand that about 11% of the population has been fully vaccinated, and that's much higher for the priority
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populations like the elderly and health care workers and teachers. so, i mean, when do you expect to have enough vaccines for everyone? >> so we set a goal some time ago of vaccinating 70% of people 70 and up by february 28th. we achieved that, over 70%. we hope it goes even higher, we encourage everybody over 70 to get vaccinated. we've also completed our teacher vaccination program, schools are all back and teachers feel safe, some are still waiting obviously for their second vaccine, but we're using masks to keep everybody safe, even before we had the vaccine. like most governors, the main limiting factor is we need more vaccine. we are able to administer three or four times the vaccine we get. that's going to be increasing very soon, late march, early april, we're expecting significantly increased quantities. from what we know of the numbers, i agree with president biden, by the end of may everybody who wants it should be able to get it.
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what that means is, if it's the single course vaccine, you get it in late may to mid-june. if it's the two-course moderna or pfizer, it's june to july. by that point everyone who wants it will have it and we'll be immune to a high level. >> maybe by june, you're saying, herd immunity could arrive in the state? >> it seems like a reasonable time period in terms of what we're seeing with the vaccine. governors wish we had more visibility into that, sometimes we find out a day before or half a day before. frankly, i'm thrilled, we have a three-week window, one of my main complaints in the trump administration was we would find out three or four days before we found out about our distribution. very unhappy with three weeks, but i'm not complaining, having three weeks' visibility in the supply has been very helpful to
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us. >> so the state's latino population in particular has really suffered i think disproportionately because of the virus. >> we hold back right off the top some vaccines to be able to work with our equity partners, nonprofit agencies, churches across the state. we've had over 70 equity clinics, the parking lots of black churches, community organizations that work with our immigrant community. and that's really been a way that we've been able to pull people in, to do 200 people, 300 people here. because they are in many cases the medically underserved. many of them aren't comfortable with going into the hospitals or other providers. it's a really important effort from the early days to make sure we do what we can to reach the
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hardist-hit coloradoans. >> is there resistance, are some people skeptical to the vaccine? how do you overcome the skepticism to make sure everyone gets a shot? >> right now anybody age 60 and up is eligible in our state. people 60, 62, 68, are getting vaccinated every day. that will will be expanded relatively soon as well. i think there's a number of barriers, especially when we're dealing with older coloradoans. setting up appointments online, for example. we made sure all of our providers had call-in numbers where people could set them up on the phone if they couldn't navigate the internet. they also navigate that call-in service with english and spanish, so we have call-in scheduling at all of our major provider partners in english and spanish, because especially as we talk about folks in their 70s and 80s, the online can be difficult to navigate sometimes. >> and the cdc recently urged
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states not to relax restrictions on restaurants and wearing masks, out of concern that it could further spread the virus. there's new variants out there. so you decided, though, to loosen the restrictions, those types of restrictions in colorado. i'm just curious why, and also what kind of metrics that you're basing your decisions on. >> our restaurants have been open, you know, pretty much at 50% capacity this whole year. i think in early january they opened, we were obviously concerned, as a lot of others were over the holiday season. we're obviously thrilled with the beautiful weather in colorado, 60, 70-degree weather, outdoor dining is back, we added outdoor dining in most of our major areas. it's about empowering people to make the right choices for them. for some it means staying in until you've had the vaccine. for others it means maybe you had the vaccine, maybe you have the virus and you have a degree
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of immunity for that, or maybe you're just willing to roll the dice, but they're ready to go out and dine with others. and we want to support our small businesses and the economy too. >> so can you speak to the metrics, though? are you tracking certain stats that -- >> the way this works in colorado is we have a dial. different counties are in different phases of capacity based on prevalence of the virus in the county, new infections, hospitalizations, blue and green. as they decrease the infection rate and there's less cases, we're able to have more capacity in places like restaurants and gyms. >> okay. and so congress, of course, just passed its covid relief package, and it includes $350 billion for state and local aid. that had been left out of previous stimulus package. how much do you expect colorado to receive and what do you plan to use the money for?
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>> we'll obviously wait until it gets calculated. i was somewhat disappointed to see the senate narrow the allowable uses. we do hope to work with the administration to make sure that governors, including of colorado, have the maximum flexibility with those funds. an enormous opportunity, we're just beginning that work. we've been working on our state stimulus which started this conversation about the $700 million that we announced just this last week, to get that out quickly. and then we'll look forward to working on the larger federal piece as we get the guidance. >> what do you think the president biden's handling of the pandemic and vaccine rollout? >> it's been great to see the vaccine numbers to increase so substantially, a three-week visibility rather than a three or four-day visibility. and of course we're grateful for the relief payments, $1,400.
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these are results that will help america build back quicker, stronger, better. we're excited to partner with the administration to help colorado and our country recover. >> do you expect any of the extra funds to be used for schools and childcare, you know, to combat some of the -- i guess just to set up schools with greater precautions, do you see the money being used for that? >> so there are specific childcare funds, $700 million that colorado will be getting, school districts themselves will be getting direct funding for this. the state is absolutely looking at summer school and helping students catch up from a year that for many of them was interrupted at times because of quarantine requirements. >> yeah, and can you speak a little bit more about how colorado might address some of that learning loss, that gap after a year like this? >> yeah, i think summer is going to be key. districts on their own, and in
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partnership with matching funds from the state, offering summer school, continuing programs, especially the losses that are the most profound. at least they're making up for some of that lost time as well. >> what about public colleges and universities? are they struggling with resources? how are you addressing that? >> they also have gotten some -- we're very grateful, first of all, for congress' response, i don't know where our school districts or communities and colleges would be without the c.a.r.e.s. act and subsequent pieces of legislation, and this one too. we're just grateful that the federal government was there in a time of need and is filling some of those holes that exist at the community college and college level. we're thrilled to use the c.a.r.e.s. money for what would have been devastating cuts in
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colleges. >> can you talk to students and families, how the pandemic has impacted them? >> this remote learning is challenge. most of our colleges have back in some capacity, but they have their own mission, making sure students are continuing to do the social distancing they need to avoid additional outbreaks. we're vaccinating our higher ed faculty, they're getting vaccinations now and over the next few weeks. and i think that's going to be an important part, they'll be getting vaccinations in the next week or two, i should say, that will be an important part of making sure they're able to continue as well. >> and so i also just want to turn a little bit to the how this is impacting workers in colorado. and i know that in november, you know, colorado voters did pass a new 12-week paid family and medical leave program. many other states have this, but the majority of americans do
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not, because we don't have a national paid family medical leave program. so i'm just curious, you know, when this policy will take effect in colorado, and, you know, what do you expect the impact to be for workers. do you think this could have made a difference, having this in place could have made a difference in the pandemic? >> by the way, most workers have paid leave, but by most we might mean 60, 70%, so what about the 30% that don't. this makes sure everybody in colorado has it. that's by 2024. so do i think it should be done nationally? absolutely. i supported legislation to do that when i was in congress. i don't think it should be wildly different between the states. there's advantages of scale and simply mobility. in the reality of the world, somebody might live in texas one year and take a job in california and come to colorado and once they see how beautiful colorado is, they spend the rest of their life here. but meanwhile they've spent time
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in the other states as well. it makes sense to do that, that will start in '24 with guaranteed sick leave for folks who need it. >> can you speak to just how the pandemic has impacted women? they're leaving the workforce i think in droves during this pandemic. >> and actually one last -- the fmla, family leave, one of the chief sponsors in the house was colorado representative pat schroeder. she wanted to make it paid at that time. it was a good step forward, it wasn't paid. the next step is it should be paid for it to be meaningful because not everybody can afford to take unpaid time off when they have a child or need the help. yeah, one of the lenses we put on the urgent need to get schools back, why we focused on getting schools back, it's about the kids' education, but it's also about the workplace. women have the lowest participation in the national workforce since 1985. a large part of that is simply -- and we have a
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6-year-old and a 9-year-old, it's simply impossible that you leave your kids at home for school. one parent needs to stay, more often than not it's the mother, in some cases it's also the father, it depends on the family. the issue is we've got to make sure that schools are back and reliable. they have been in colorado. but there's no question that the decrease of women in the workforce has only increased the preexisting gap between the genders in the workforce. >> certainly. so what other support do you think is needed besides just simply paid leave, if any? >> well, certainly reliable schools, childcare. we're looking at expanding onsite childcare companies, that's another opportunity, with commercial space. we expect many companies will keep some telecommuting for
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efficiency. voters passed with more than two-thirds of the vote in the last election universal preschool for all kids in colorado. that will be implemented by 2023. so we're up and going with that as well. >> gotcha. and just one last question, what would feel normal to you in colorado? now that vaccinations are getting rolled out, what would that look like? >> luckily a large part of colorado normal is sort of outdoors and safe anyway. >> that's true. >> people go skiing, hiking, biking. that's been a great blessing to us during all stages of the pandemic, because we kept our state park system open during the entire pandemic, even during the lockdown periods, because it's great to be outdoors and safe, you know, and able to social distance. thank goodness for that. in terms of our own social lives, nightclubs and large get-togethers, i think the country will be back over the summer. i don't think it happens
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overnight. but as soon as we get through vaccinating to reach a level of protection, we'll be there sooner than we think. >> thank you so much, governor. it sounds like you have your work cut out for you on the renewable energy transition for sure. and you said, you know, you hope by june you'll have herd immunity in colorado. so good luck, thank you so much for your time and for joining us again this year. >> thank you, catherine, and have a great day. >> you too. and now i'm going to turn it over to global translations author ryan heath. he's going to have a conversation with washington state governor jay inslee. >> good afternoon, everyone. hi, my name's ryan heath. as catherine just said, i write politico's global translations newsletter. that's where local news meets global news. of course it's still morning if you're joining us from the west coast which is where our next
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guest, the final interview for this event, is from. i would like to give a warm welcome to washington state governor jay inslee. welcome, governor. >> good morning. >> now, we've got a lot to dig into in our conversation. you are a tech capital, you're a climate champion, you're obviously a trade hub as well. we have a home to boeing and we've got covid and all the building back better that you're involved in, so a lot of ground to cover there. maybe we're going to just get straight into it but with one quick reminder to everyone watching, if they want to follow or participant in the conversation, use the hashtag #the50governors. i'll pick up with where catherine left off with governor polis in colorado, what normally looks like in washington. what metrics are you following to judge when we can get back to
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pre-pandemic life and when would you guess herd immunity will come to your state? >> to start with, our definition of normal means being the best state in the united states. we now were just named by "u.s. news and world report" for the second year in a row the best state in the united states. so normal to us is being the healthiest, the most economically productive, the most environmentally sensitive, and with the cutest children. and the last thing we try to be is the most humble state in the nation, that's hard for us. >> you're clearly the most humble guest we've had today. >> we'll work on that. interesting question. let's start with the last you asked about herd immunity. i don't think this is going to be a light switch where dr. fauci or i or anyone else can say we now are at herd immunity. i suspend this is going to be a spectrum of a gradual diminution of transmission rates. the thing we'll be focusing on is the reduction of hospitalizations and deaths,
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which is obviously our highest priority. i do believe by early summer, we will -- you know, i probably should worry about getting struck by lightning when i say that, but i do believe the efficacy of these vaccines is so significant, and our increase, thanks to the biden administration, of production has been so prodigious, by early summer, we have a reason to believe we're going to have a massive decrease in hospitalizations and deaths. and that will allow us to get back to some things that we've enjoyed of larger groups of people, certainly in our personal lives, to be in our homes with our grandchildren, now a possibility with double vaccinated elders. so i think by, you know, early summer, there should be very substantial joy in the country of both baseball and return to a lot of things that we're used to. now, you always have to say with this slippery virus, that who
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knows when the kazakhstan mutant strain will show up and knock this into a cocked hat. that's obviously a possibility. we're very dedicated to a robust sampling system for the variants. i'm glad that the biden administration has put in some real muscle into checking for this. we actually are, getting, trying to be humble, we have probably the best surveillance system for the variants or will shortly in the united states, so we can keep tabs on that. that is obviously going to remain a risk. but i feel good about this summer. i think there's going to be a lot of happy people in our nation. >> and in terms of what you could ask extra from the biden administration, recognizing that things are turning around, is it just getting more vaccines into arms? we just heard governor polis say he could get three times as many arms if he had the vaccine
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supply. is it the same for you? >> yes, i do feel the number of doses available to us will remain the limitation. we're having good success in our logistical chain. we're always going to have challenges to do this as equitably as possible, because we still have folks with less mobility and language issues. that's why we have a very strong outreach program. we're running a $15 million campaign in 32 languages to help people understand the science of the vaccine. we're embracing the strategy of pop-up clinics and mobile things to go out where people are, go to meat packing plants and the like. we're embracing all of those strategies to make this as equitable as possible. that will remain something we have to be very intentional about. no, i could not be more thrilled with what the president has been able to achieve. first, the scientific miracle, a blessing to all of us, for this miracle, to have three vaccines
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in a year, an unbelievable scientific achievement. the biden administration has been spectacular in their ability to work with private enterprise to dramatically increase this production. i could not -- having suffered through the last awol president, to have somebody so intentional and successful, this is fantastic. now, we're still working out some things so we can have the best coordination between the federal delivery system and the state delivery system. but i'm confident those things are going to continue to have success. >> just one last question on covid. it's around essential workers. it feels like they've been put in a very difficult position in some states that are rolling back their mask mandates or other restrictions. given that we do have a lot of interstate travel, have you got any messages to your fellow governors about the standards you would like them to uphold to make sure we get through this quickly? >> i was trying to say this in as diplomatic a fashion as
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possible. the reason we have had success in washington where we have one of the lowest death and transmission rates in the country, in fact "the new york times" did an evaluation and they said if the nation had had the same practices that we had had in the same success, we could have avoided a quarter million deaths in the united states. and that is because we have made a very early decision to follow science and the precautionary principal and value life and not ideology, and not sort of political bumper stickers. and because we followed that, we have saved, you know, if you compare us to sort of an average state, we've probably saved 11,000 lives in our state. and i would just encourage folks to realize, that still is the principle. we do have a still-active virus and a pandemic. we still have variants that when you get a 50% penetration of the variants in the population of the covid virus, you've seen
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very rapid spikes in european experience, that we have to be aware of. so frankly, it's just nuts to start arguing about masks at this point. we know they work. we know that it saves lives. we know that it's capable. it doesn't interfere with our activities. and to abandon that just so some governor can beat their chest and say they're the closest thing to donald trump you can imagine is really sad and dangerous right now. and by the way, it's troublesome to me because their folks travel to my state, right? i don't like folks not embracing masks in texas and then coming to my state, that endangers my people. so i'm not happy about that. i encourage people to follow science, not ideology and the losing president who is no longer with us. >> on the note of science and the precautionary principle which you also mentioned in that answer, i thought we should turn to climate change. in the absence of federal leadership over the last few years on climate change, some
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national diplomacy, the sort of work that you were doing in washington state, that mayors were doing, took on a high level of performance. now that you've got a federal government that is essentially aligned with the sort of things you were arguing for, where do you see your role, how is washington state going to help the world get to where it needs to in this u.n. climate conference at the end of the year? >> look, we've got a president who totally gets it. i'm just super delighted with everything he's done on the climate front. he's got a great team around him. he's taken early executive action. his proposal legislatively i know will be as aggressive as possible. so i'm just delighted in what president biden's doing right now in the climate and clean energy area. he fundamentally gets this is a jobs issue. you got granholm at energy understanding what a jobs issue is in the automotive industry. we saw gm now advertising their electric platform for their new
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vehicles. so anyway, i'm very delighted with the federal government and what it's doing. however this does not diminish the importance and capability of states and locals and cities being able to move the ball. it still remains very effective and it still remains very important. it's effective because we can do things that are very much important. when we get, which i hope we will, a clean fuel standard in my state this year, that could move the needle. and it remains necessary because with the existence of the filibuster, unless that changes, we still will not be able to, despite the president's best efforts, to do what we need to do on a federal level. the state action is still imperative, that we continue to do what we've done. our alliance that we've started, you know, we've had more rapid job growth in the states that are part of our alliance, at the same time we're building, you know, a buttress against pollution.
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so we've got to continue this effort. by the way, when we go to these international conferences, they call it subnationals. we call ourselves super nationals because we're actually ahead of the federal governments in many different ways. >> there we go, the seattle super nationals, i feel a franchise coming on here. if i can ask a followup on the clean vehicle standard -- fuel standard, rather, are you imagining matching california? do you want to sort of beat them and go first in the nation? what's your goal there? >> very similar to the california standard, our numbers might be marginally better, it's very much in lockstep. we need to do this on the west coast, when we do this we'll have the west coast states and british columbia who will be united in this particular policy. we really want to fill in that piece of the puzzle. we are leading the rest of the states, if i may brag for a moment about my state, we do have the best already electrical grid, 100% clean electrical grid bill in the united states.
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we have the best energy efficiency bill requiring retrofitting of our buildings to quit wasting energy, best in the united states. this is one place in the transportation sector where my state can make up some ground. and i'm very eager and optimistic about getting that through my legislature this year. >> you've got another tough challenge, transportation-wise, as the home of boeing. if i could draw an analogy with your big tech companies, we've seen big companies like microsoft, they're promising to go carbon negative and coming up with plans around that. a bit harder for an aviation company to say they're going to go carbon negative. but what's your vision for boeing, which is obviously a huge employer, but also a contributor by what it makes to carbon emissions, what's your vision for them contributing to a net zero society? >> well, we think there's really great progress in aviation right now amongst a variety of options for aviation.
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first, biofuels. boeing is in a consortium with alaska and our national labs in the tri cities in washington, continuing to develop biofuels. as you know, we've flown the f 18s and commercial aircraft across the ocean on partial biofuels. this is a growth opportunity for our agricultural industry which is robust in washington too. so there is an option. we have option for short range electric propulsion, at least partially electric propulsion. we have in real term development right now, these are going to be shorter range airplanes for sort of commuter purposes. but that is under development right now. then there's a host of other things you can do weight-wise and otherwise to make your airplanes more efficient. those efficiency improvements have been profound. that efficiency curve itself is a way to reduce emissions. we have a very robust r&d effort
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going on in this, we know how important this is. >> one of the other big issues that's cropped up in the last 12 months, you know, a long standing issue but which has new prominence, is the question of environmental justice and bringing that form of equity into all these discussions. i know there are some community groups in washington who want it to be very exclusive, that the cap and trade system you're trying to bring in, that the money should go to things like the working families tax credit and other policies where it's going to be very clear, a kind of distribution of resources and power. you say that environmental justice is at the hub of your policies there. tell us what makes you so confident that you are delivering on that and that those groups will end up satisfied. >> well, the first -- maybe this is so obvious, but we need to say it, the biggest benefit of this from an environmental justice standpoint is that when you reduce carbon pollution, the first people are the biggest
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victims. these are a lot of folks who live in poverty, who are living next to freeways and toxic waste dumps and industrial sites. they're heavily bipoc community. when you reduce this, you save the hispanic kids right now that are suffering an epidemic of asthma because they're breathing diesel smoke. the biggest environmental justice is saving the health of our children in the bipoc communities that are the first victims of carbon pollution. that's first, maybe most important. secondly, we're proposing a cap and invest proposal this year to finance a host of investments. we have a very, very rigorous vectoring of those investments into these communities so that jobs can be created at those sites, number one, and number two, some stringent regulatory provisions to prevent the concentration of any industrial pollutant in these bipoc and poverty communities. we have a regulatory system to
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prevent that on the permitting side. so we have a very robust approach to this. and it is very important. so i feel good about what we're doing. and i would like to get it done this year. >> i want to switch topics now and ask you a question, we've just seen a very tense, controversial debate in washington, d.c. around what should happen with the federal minimum wage, which remains at $7.25 an hour. and washington is really an outlier. i imagine you're going to say in a very positive sense, but you've got a statement minimum wage of $13.69 an hour, seattle is up to $16.69 now. i want you to talk a little bit about your experience with that. was that a bumpy transition? what has made it work in washington that other people in the country need to hear about? >> well, what's made it work is that we've understood for some period of time a central tenet. we've got one of if not the most robust economies in the united
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states, for multiple reasons. one of the reasons is we fundamentally understand, if you're going to have a market based economy, you've got to have consumers with a couple of dollars in their pocket. because if there's no consumers with any money, you can't sell a pair of shoes or anything else. we fundamentally understand that having a robust middle class and working wages is the best thing you can do for economic growth, is to have people who can be successful consumers, if you will. and that is one of the reasons we have led the country in economic growth. and the minimum wage is one part of that. it's not the only part. but it is one part of that. robust access to health care, educational opportunity. you know, the whole nine yards, is another part of that. but the minimum wage is part of that. what we've found is actually the states that have moved forward with minimum wage increases have been the most productive in economic growth. and because you have people
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actually buying products. and what we have found is, we have had a consumption shortage, a consumption gap, if you will, in the united states. we got tremendous creation of wealth, which is a positive things, but, you know, you give a dollar to somebody who is a billionaire and they put itinto an investment, which is a good thing. you give a dollar to someone at the low end and they go buy something. that creates demand, which creates jobs, which creates wealth. it's a virtuous cycle. so having good, healthy wages is fundamental to a capitalist, successful society. those are not in opposition. they are mutually supportive. we've demonstrated that big time in the state of washington. >> one of the other drivers of a strong middle class is a strong higher education system that people can access. i wanted to ask you what your vision for higher education in the state is. and it struck me, doing some of
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the background research for this interview, that you've been increasing the higher ed budget for a number of years now. but even with that effort, it's only back at the level it was in 2000. so we've been static for two decades there. tell us about some of those struggles and where do you want it to be in five, ten years' time. >> obviously all of us want to reduce the debt burden as required for access to education. first off, let me start, we're proud of our higher education system. it is one of the reasons we were listed the best state in the united states two years running, because of the strength of our public and private higher education system, in any way you want to measure it. so having the institutional success story, we have a lot of success here in that regard. but we've got to have a way for people to finance the college education. so the thing that we are proudest about is that we today have the single best financing system for people to be able to
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afford a college education. and we can say that everyone can afford now a college education system because we have the most single robust -- and if you do your checking, this will be confirmed by people who aren't governor of washington -- the most robust comprehensive financial package in the united states, based on the income levels of parents. and we're very proud of this. >> and it's a low interest rate system? >> yes. >> what are some of the factors? >> it's based on income of your family and it is the richest, most comprehensive system in the united states. so this is important. this doesn't mean we've eliminated debt. but we have dramatically reduced that. you can say right now, if you want to go to college, we have a way for you to finance it right now. so now, we need to continue to finance that, though, right? that's not inexpensive. it's one of the reasons that, you know, we have revenue issues
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here. we're working on a capital gains tax through our legislature right now which will, instead of taxing lower income people, will have a revenue on higher income people, you know, the top 1 or 2% in our population. by the way, if i may, you need to hear something that's not perfect in my state. it is not p, we have the most on their tax system in the united states. it is the highest burden on working people for state and local taxes in the united states, and this is local taxes in the united states. and this is something we are not proud of. somet so we are doing something this year we hope that's's going to a modestly reduce that unfairness by creating a capital gains tax, which is very fair and small, se and increasing we hope the access for our working family tax credit to help people on the lower end of the income scale. so i want to tell you that we ic
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have ambitions to even be on to better. >> be be great. now, one other topic where there's always ambition to be better. we hear about it endlessly, is infrastructure. and we now have mayor pete buttigieg who's now secretary wh buttigieg in transport. he's obviously going to have some big plans there. i guess i wanted to marry up that idea that there are concerns about american infrastructure, that you are a tradedeth hubat for the west coe there, and we need to go green if we're going to help the climate. what are your demands there?sk or what have you asked pete buttigieg in your interactions withs him? >> i have asked for a fair allocation of transportation infrastructureollars dollars.. half for the state ofsee i to wn and half for the rest of the nation. and if we can see eye to eye on that subject, we'll be very, e very happy. i'm convinced he will be very helpful. first, we need an infrastructure proposal. we're very excited abouteveral . we passed our last
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transportation bill several years ago. we are now due for our own transportation. next step forward, we're working that in our legislature. we know we need preservation ans maintenance, which is extremely important. i mentioned it's the first thing we've got to do is keep our bridges healthy and have pavement without giant potholes. and this is not it isexy,s it' romantic. there's not blue ribbon ceremonies for this. but it is pivotal. because we have subject an aging transportation infrastructure in our state. when you drive under the have bridges, particularly in the east coast and look at their status, i mentioned this because we got to be focused on that i actually think first. but we have huge interest in increasing our capacity. we know we have to have much more intensive per mile ability to move people. that means a lot of public transportation options forr folks. and a way to reduce this to reduce our carbon content per i, mile. and i'm convinced bothwe are g
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president's leadership and secretary buttigieg we're going to do both. and good things are going to happen in this country.mexican >> now, a question i was not expecting to ask you when i woke up this morning, but the mexican parliament came in with some news that makes it relevant, i think. they are working to push the world's biggest marijuana market. and of course washington state was one of the first states in the country that did move in that direction as well for aduls sales in 2014.n i was wondering, is that a competitive situation that you're keeping an eye on? and with the benefit of anyth hindsight now that we'rein sortf seven years into this market in the u.s., is there anything you'd do differently? and i'm thinking now around the situation where you have black c communities and other communities consuming marijuana in roughly the same amounts but the incarceration rates for the black communities are a lot higher. and just wondering if you'veyeyt any reflections on those last seven years with that in mind or got any competitive ambitions now that mexico's moving in on
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your game. don >> i don't look at' this from a competitive standpoint. you asked the direct question do i lose sleep over that. no, i don't. what i would say is that our experience in washington has been uniformly positive in any e way you score thisce from a reduction of, you know, unnecessary law enforcement and criminal activity that really wasn't't benefitting our communy on creating jobs in a new industry, on giving people more freedom in their personal decisionmaking with no demonstrable, you know, horrendous health impacts. it's been shown by wou so, by any measure, it's been a very successful enterprise. as far as the things i'd do hadn differently, i probably would'vf embraced this position of n decriminalizing it earlier, had i known how successful this hasw been with not any really large usage, e in juvenile which was a concern while we were debating this.llenge so i would have done it earlier. we still have some challenges
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getting capital to communities of color so that they can get into this industry.verse and we're trying to work through that to have a more diverse population of business people in this industry. that's one of the things we're g working on. but i don't think whatever mexico does, i don't believe is going to have a down side for us in washington. >> now, i guess not a happy calx topic, but a real topic that we have to talk about is political extremism in this country. we've obviously seen the president leave office in unhappy circumstances around january 6th and the attempted insurrection there.ose but the fact that he's gone doesn't eliminate the extremism that was attached to those events. and we've also seen republicans try and create an equivalence between far-right extremism and protests in seattle, for ests whample. wanted to know what's your reflection on that, and also what's your biggest fear as a e.
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state governor. you have a state capital as well that needs to be protected. so, what keeps you up at night in regards to political extremism in your state? well, nothing.e to. because i can fall asleep in two minutes under this table if i'd like to. >> i'm not allowed to say i hate you, but secretly i do.eeps m [ laughter ] awanyways, so nothing keeps me awake at night. well, i think the biggest concern is long-term not so much a concept of violence, that is l concern, the insurgency at the capitol was heartbreaking to d those of us who consider it a temple democracy, to see it defiled by that, to see loss of life, you know, is really, really but i think a more insidious and more concerning is the degradation impact of not trusting our electoral system. it's built on trust.oln sp it's built on invisible bonds of connection that lincoln spoke on
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that depend on trust and counting the votes. and the longer-term concern is if people can't trust the votint system, that is a mortal threate to democracy. and that's the biggest concern i have. andppointed i continue to be, f disappointed in some of our republican leaders who are still not standing up against this myth that this was a stolen election. >> there must be some local - republicans in washington who e understand that youre: mail balt system is operated -- ave ha >> we have had somed republicann leaders in my state who have e election was not stolen, including our republican secretary of state. some of our state legislative leaders have stood up. l but it's notea as many as we ne. we need republican leadership to stand up on their hind legs and say this is a myth, you've been lied to by the ex-president, we
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counted the votes and this is how it came out. o and i'm very disappointed in the vast majority of them failing in that responsibility. it is a pernicious mortal threat to our existing democraticc traditions. and that is a much more dangerous threat than the ortal behavior of someth of these fol who now are finding out they >> were lied to by the ex-president who were involvedr incollea th insurgency. >> yep.ed con one final quick question. r we heard your colleague from ual michigan gretchen whitmer her standards for how democrats and republicans may bs treated regarding sexual harassment allegations. and we knowr thathim governor is in the spotlight. a lot of democrats are now calling for him to resign.ld? should he resign, or is there aa particular way you would like ty see this investigation now unfold? >> well, i thinkproach no matte party you're in, it should be the same approach, which is
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assertions of improprieties and sexual harassment have to be atg taken seriously, and they have to have serious investigations. and that ought to be true no matter what party you're in. and i would encourage that in any circumstance across the country, including in new york. >> great. well, thank you very much, governor, inslee. that brings our interview to a close. thank you so for participating our governor's summit, the 50. o we are so pleased that everyoned was able to join us today.. just a couple of good-bye thoughts from me.e.warnin de've had a lot of food for thought fromcl republican maryle governor larry hogan warning us that it's not yet time to declare mission accomplished on i think we can all agree on we that. to ray cooper from north carolina advocatingg that we ge kids back into schools obviously with appropriate safeguards, but willing to go against some of't the democratic mainstream there. we heard gretchen whitmer say we don't want double standards for different parties when it comes to very serious sexual assault
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allegations. and of course we can now say vee that every governord in we spok has expressed the need for uall getting morege vaccines delivere into armss quickly so that we c eventually get back to normal in the summer. that does it for us today from political live. thank you for being a great audience, and enjoy the rest of your weeks. and thanks again, governor inslee. >> you bet. this afternoon, members of the fort hood independent review committee present their findings and recommendations stemming from multiple cases of sexual assault and harassment at the texas army base. that hearing before a house armed services subcommittee starts live at 3:00 p.m. eastern on c-span3, online at or listen on the free c-span radio app. visit c-span's new online store at to check out the new c-span products. and with the # 17th congress in
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session we're taking preorders for the congressional directory. every c-span purchase helps support c-span's nonprofit operations. federal communications commissioner brendan carr delivered remarks yesterday about 5g wireless technology, net neutrality and free speech issues. from the american enterprise institute, this is an hour. >> good morning, everyone, and thank you for starting your week with us. i'm with the american enterprise institute, and we are joined today by fcc commissioner brendan carr. brendan carr is the senior republican on the federal communications commission, and he's been described by "axios" as the sec's 5g crusader. he has led the work in accelerating the buildout of high-speed networks which we'ret all very thankful for even me as i am a


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