Gov. Jay Inslee released a statement on the outcome of Referendum 88, which was on the ballot in last week’s general election.
“Washington state has long been a place where we work to promote equality and opportunities for everyone regardless of the color of their skin, gender, country of origin, faith or language. These are Washington values and that will not change.
“We know systemic inequities remain that cause communities of color, veterans, people with disabilities and women to face persistent barriers to work and education opportunities.
“Referendum 88 was an attempt to address some of those inequities. While it was not successful, I am deeply committed to continue efforts that address opportunity for all Washingtonians consistent with current law.
“We currently have work underway to address the disparities that exist in state contracting, which is being led by the Office of Minority and Women Business Enterprises. This past legislative session, an Equity Office Task Force was created and the group is scheduled to present recommendations to me within the next month. Their input will help move our state forward and help ensure equal opportunities for everyone. But that is not enough.
"In partnership with the Legislature, we will continue to explore options that increase access to equitable opportunities and resources that reduce inequality -- including racial and ethnic disparities -- and improve outcomes for everyone statewide.”