2 parties to share power on Senate education panel

Choosing collaboration over confrontation, Democrats in the state Senate on Tuesday agreed to share power with Republicans on a new panel dealing with the critical issue of public school funding.

The proposed Select Committee on Education Finance &Results would have an equal number of members from each party. It also would have a co-chairman from each party. Sen. David Frockt, D-Seattle, is the Democrats’ choice to run the panel while Sen. Rodney Tom, D-Medina, is apparently going to be one of the members.

In another move reflective of the Democrats’ fragile 26-23 majority, they are proposing to shrink their numeric advantage on all committees to a single vote. For example, Democrats now outnumber Republicans 13-9 on the Ways and Means Committee. Under the change, the split would be 11-10.

“In the Senate, we’ve shown a collaborative approach can get results,” said Senate Majority Leader Ed Murray, D-Seattle in a statement. “These proposals will help that collaboration continue in a chamber that often has fluid majorities. They reflect the diversity of our caucus and our state and the commitment by Senate Democrats to finding practical solutions to the issues facing Washingtonians of all walks of life.”

As expected, Democrats also confirmed moderate Sen. Jim Hargrove, D-Hoquiam, as chairman of the budget-writing Ways and Means Committee. Sen. Sharon Nelson, D-Vashon Island, a liberal member of the caucus, will serve as vice-chairman and be in charge of writing the Capital Budget.

Other appointments of note include:

Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe, D-Bothell, will continue as chairwoman of the Senate education committee. However, it’s got an awkward new name: Pre-K-12 Education.

Sen. Tracey Eide, D-Federal Way, will lead the Transportation Committee with Sen. Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens, serving as vice-chairman. The two engaged in a spirited competition for the chairmanship.

Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623; jcornfield@heraldnet.com.

More in Local News

Bicycle tour raises money for dialysis patients

Volunteers also shared health information and put together care packages for homeless women.

Elderly couple escape serious injuries in crash with train

The driver drove down tracks instead of a road, hitting a slow-moving train near Stanwood.

Boeing reaches out to schools

Company employees helped Everett students at recent reading and Manufacturing Day events.

5-vehicle collision sends school bus into ditch; no injuries

No students were hurt when a school bus crashed into… Continue reading

Fire crew returns early from wildfires in Northern California

Four Everett firefighters returned from battling California wildfires late Thursday… Continue reading

Theft lands former insurance salesman 50 days in jail

A former insurance salesman is expected to report to jail… Continue reading

Officials ID man shot and killed in apparent Everett robbery

Police believe the victim may have known the shooter, who drove away before the officers arrived.

Man, 60, in critical condition after Bothell crash

Police believe the driver may have been speeding when he hit a rock wall.

Missing Marysville woman found safe out of state

A Marysville senior who was reported missing in March has… Continue reading

Most Read